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York's new built quota increases to 800

York city council

11:00am 1st July 2011
(Updated 11:14am 1st July 2011)

Draft plans outlining the city’s 20 year Local Development Framework (LDF) were approved at Full Council last night (Thursday 30th June 2011).

The LDF is the planning blueprint for the future of York and sets out the overall vision for what York should be like in 20 years time.  It outlines objectives and policies to ensure the protection and enhancement of the city’s historic and natural environment, as well as ensuring that carefully designed new developments are brought forward to meet the city’s needs for homes, jobs, shops and key local services.

This includes increasing the annual allocation of new homes built to 800 - boosting the levels of affordable housing in York to meet the city’s future economic and housing future needs.

The council’s Full Council approved draft plans, which seek to preserve York’s special character whilst ensuring the city has capacity for future developments. Plans also mean brownfield sites in sustainable locations will have priority for development.

The proposed approach is based on three components:

1.   Prioritising development within York’s main urban area, by utilizing and providing the following major development opportunities and sites, including: York Northwest - York Central, York Northwest - British Sugar / Manor School, Castle Piccadilly, Heslington East, Hungate; Nestlé South, Germany Beck, Derwenthorpe and Terrys

2.   Development within the most sustainable larger villages and for employment existing business parks.

3.   Land outside the existing main urban area would only be considered if sufficient land to meet York’s future development needs cannot be found under certain points -  to ensure a minimum of a ten-year supply.

Acceptable development criteria for developers are also to be established, including creating good transport links and tighter controls will surround the number of homes in multiple occupation to relieve pressure on starter and family homes.

The LDF Core Strategy will now be subject to a public consultation in September.


Labour Councillors have rejected compromise proposals that would have safeguarded areas of York’s green belt, which are currently under threat of development.

The compromise was moved at tonight’s Full Council meeting by Heworth Without’s Liberal Democrat Councillor, Nigel Ayre, after Labour Councillors had earlier pushed through plans to increase the number of houses built in the city.

Councillor Ayre then tabled a proposal which would have ensured that land in the green belt near Huntington, Heworth Without and Osbaldwick, which is earmarked for development under Labour’s plans, could only be released following consultation with residents and agreement from Councillors.

Earlier in the meeting Liberal Democrat Councillors attempted to block the planned housing increase by moving an amendment to Labour’s proposals. The amendment attracted the support of all opposition parties but was defeated when Labour Councillors voted to go ahead with allocating areas of the green belt as possible housing sites. 

Councillor Ayre said:

“Labour bluntly refused to listen to the will of residents and, despite our amendment, pushed forward with their plan to increase the number of houses built in the city. I had hoped that that they might have at least tried to live up to their manifesto pledge to listen to consultation and considered this compromise.”

Councillor Ayre said his compromise would have allowed Labour to push ahead with their higher housing targets, while ensuring the green belt land was protected from developers looking for cheaper sites to build on.

He said:

“By indentifying these areas as possible housing sites Labour are opening them up to developers, who will see green belt land as cheaper and easier to develop than brown field sites.”

“Once this land is identified for housing Labour will struggle to control when it is developed. The changes I proposed would have ensured that nothing could be built on those sites without consultation with residents and explicit agreement from Councillors.”

Councillor Ayre’s proposal would have seen the so called ‘areas of search’ (the land identified as likely sites for development) designated as Countryside Areas. These areas would have been protected from development and only released when Councillors agreed.

This would have allowed Councillors to wait until all available brown field sites were used up before allowing any development elsewhere.

Councillor Ayre said:

“It is unlikely that the city will see the number of houses built each year that Labour project. The housing market is still some way from picking up and so the reality is likely to be quite different to the plan.”

“If the number of houses built is lower than the projection, there won’t be any need to build on the green belt in Huntington, Heworth Without or Osbaldwick. It makes sense to protect these areas to ensure they are only released if absolutely necessary, and if residents agree.”

“Labour claimed that they wanted to protect the green belt, yet they voted against giving Councillors and residents a say in when parts of it were developed.”

“By refusing to compromise they have made it more likely that these areas will be developed sooner rather than later.”

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