Homes in property hotspot to be backed

THE final phases of a multi-million pound housing development in one of the North of England’s most desirable cities is due to be given the go-ahead to help counter a critical lack of affordable properties.

Proposals drawn up by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation to construct 346 homes are expected to be approved by York Council next week as the long-running planning saga enters its final stages.

The Derwenthorpe scheme, on land west of Metcalfe Lane in Osbaldwick, has provoked controversy from residents over the scale of the development, but outline planning permission was granted for up to 540 dwellings following a public inquiry more than five years ago in May 2007.

Members of York Council’s planning committee will meet on Thursday next week to consider the planning application for phases three and four of the housing scheme. The application has had to be revised to address concerns over the impact on the roads infrastructure and the number of parking spaces available. The location of homes has also been changed to create more space.

Members of Osbaldwick Parish Council have re-iterated their long-standing concerns about the development which include objections over the design of the homes and the lack of parking as well as raising fears over the impact on the sewers network and surrounding roads. But the council’s planning officers have recommended that the planning application is approved. They have stressed that the development will provide much-needed family housing with the majority of the proposed properties including three bedrooms. The officers have said the range of housing “offers choice and is consistent with the outline planning permission”.

York remains one of the region’s most desirable locations with the average home costing £202,823 while the average wage is just £19,812, according to the National Housing Federation.