Start date for £100m city homes scheme

LONG-AWAITED work on a £100m York housing scheme is to start this month after a series of high-profile setbacks.

Developers are to build 64 ultra energy-efficient homes in the first phase of work at the Derwenthorpe site on the east side of the city, where a 540-home model village themed around the environment is ultimately planned.

The controversial scheme, which has been in the pipeline for more than a decade, has involved a number of planning and legal challenges by residents opposed to the loss of green-belt land and concerned about additional traffic on local roads.

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One challenge even ended up in the European Parliament, after allegations from protesters that planning legislation was breached over the proposed development.

But the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust (JRHT), who are behind the landmark project, say work is now to begin, with David Wilson Homes appointed as the developer of the first phase.

JRHT director of development Nigel Ingram said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with an award-winning house-builder that has a proven track record in delivering high quality homes to exacting environmental standards.

“Our wish has always been to provide much needed family and energy efficient housing in York that will be of benefit to generations to come.”

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The leader of York Council, Andrew Waller, said: “This development will help to provide much needed family housing in York with an affordable mix, and it will further enhance York’s reputation as a centre of excellence for environmental construction.

“As the land has been set aside for housing for many years now, with many delays, and a trip to the European Parliament to help to resolve matters in the intervening period, it is real progress to reach this point today.”

The first phase of work, which will cost £11m, is planned to be completed by summer 2012.

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