Housing proposals would be ‘disastrous’ for nature reserve wildlife

Housing proposals would be ‘disastrous’ for nature reserve wildlife

Dr Rob Stoneman, the chief executive of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, with ferns at Askham Bog, described as the ‘York Minster of nature’

A dragonfly at the Askham Bog nature reserve

A wasp hovers close to flowers at Askham Bog. Ecologists have warned that the building of homes nearby could cause damage to the water table and risk everything the reserve protects

First published in News
Last updated

HOUSING proposals for York could be disastrous for wildlife and destroy the "York Minster" of nature preservation, conservationists have warned.

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust has spoken out against two sites being considered by the city council, and issued a plea for residents to help fight the plans.

A major housing scheme at Moor Lane, Woodthorpe is close to Askham Bog nature reserve, while the Whinthorpe development is neighbour to Heslington Tilmire. Both potential developments feature in the council's recently launched "Further Sites" consultation document, as part of its Local Plan.

The Trust's chief executive Dr Rob Stoneman said Askham Bog was saved from development in 1946 by Francis Terry and Arnold Rowntree and given to Yorkshire Wildlife Trust to be looked after in perpetuity.

He added: "Whilst we understand the issues surrounding available housing this should not come at the expense of a city treasure like Askham Bog, akin to York Minster in the opinion of any naturalist."

The reserve is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and the Trust has warned that development nearby could irreversibly damage the water table and risk everything the reserve protects.

It is home to many rare species, including orchids, dragonflies, voles and deer.

The Local Plan also proposes more than 5000 homes on the Whinthorpe site close to Helsington Tilmire - a lowland meadow which is home to lapwings and skylark as well as wild flowers.

Dr Stoneman added: “Ground-nesting birds will simply not survive if thousands of people plus their cats and dogs move in next door. This beautiful site could be destroyed.”

Now the Trust is encouraging residents to help protect the two sites by writing to the council objecting to the plans.

The Trust said Askham Bog had developed over thousands of years but could be lost in an instant.

Mike Slater, the council's assistant director of City and Environmental Services, said the city faces big challenges providing enough affordable housing for its residents, but encouraged people to contribute to this consultation, as well as a further city-wide consultation later in the year.

He added: “All views and feedback will be considered as the Local Plan progresses. Although it’s important to note at this stage the sites submitted by landowners or indicated for use by landowners are proposals."

"The magnitude of the last consultation is still felt by everyone and echoed by over 14,000 representations made by developers, land owners, residents and businesses - which is the largest amount of responses we've ever received during a consultation."

Comments (21)

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10:44am Fri 13 Jun 14

gmc_1963 says...

It's a hoverfly not a wasp and the dragonfly is a four-spot chaser
It's a hoverfly not a wasp and the dragonfly is a four-spot chaser gmc_1963
  • Score: 23

10:47am Fri 13 Jun 14

gmc_1963 says...

Any attempt to build near Askham Bog would be disgraceful, it is a nationaly important SSSI

If you are interested, you can read more about it here

http://www.ywt.org.u
k/York
Any attempt to build near Askham Bog would be disgraceful, it is a nationaly important SSSI If you are interested, you can read more about it here http://www.ywt.org.u k/York gmc_1963
  • Score: 9

10:54am Fri 13 Jun 14

smudge2 says...

gmc_1963 wrote:
Any attempt to build near Askham Bog would be disgraceful, it is a nationaly important SSSI

If you are interested, you can read more about it here

http://www.ywt.org.u

k/York
Not interested,we need more houses and not more insects.
[quote][p][bold]gmc_1963[/bold] wrote: Any attempt to build near Askham Bog would be disgraceful, it is a nationaly important SSSI If you are interested, you can read more about it here http://www.ywt.org.u k/York[/p][/quote]Not interested,we need more houses and not more insects. smudge2
  • Score: -28

10:59am Fri 13 Jun 14

thinkingoutsidethebox says...

smudge2 wrote:
gmc_1963 wrote:
Any attempt to build near Askham Bog would be disgraceful, it is a nationaly important SSSI

If you are interested, you can read more about it here

http://www.ywt.org.u


k/York
Not interested,we need more houses and not more insects.
uneducated assumption - get out there and read some stuff, More people more houses less nature. Less nature - the ecological base of what we all need is lost..........then people will suffer through famine and disease, more than a war could inflict.
[quote][p][bold]smudge2[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]gmc_1963[/bold] wrote: Any attempt to build near Askham Bog would be disgraceful, it is a nationaly important SSSI If you are interested, you can read more about it here http://www.ywt.org.u k/York[/p][/quote]Not interested,we need more houses and not more insects.[/p][/quote]uneducated assumption - get out there and read some stuff, More people more houses less nature. Less nature - the ecological base of what we all need is lost..........then people will suffer through famine and disease, more than a war could inflict. thinkingoutsidethebox
  • Score: 24

11:21am Fri 13 Jun 14

BL2 says...

smudge2 wrote:
gmc_1963 wrote:
Any attempt to build near Askham Bog would be disgraceful, it is a nationaly important SSSI

If you are interested, you can read more about it here

http://www.ywt.org.u


k/York
Not interested,we need more houses and not more insects.
Rubbish! We need more green land and less development!
[quote][p][bold]smudge2[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]gmc_1963[/bold] wrote: Any attempt to build near Askham Bog would be disgraceful, it is a nationaly important SSSI If you are interested, you can read more about it here http://www.ywt.org.u k/York[/p][/quote]Not interested,we need more houses and not more insects.[/p][/quote]Rubbish! We need more green land and less development! BL2
  • Score: 24

11:32am Fri 13 Jun 14

again says...

smudge2 wrote:
gmc_1963 wrote:
Any attempt to build near Askham Bog would be disgraceful, it is a nationaly important SSSI

If you are interested, you can read more about it here

http://www.ywt.org.u


k/York
Not interested,we need more houses and not more insects.
Tired of living under a bridge?
[quote][p][bold]smudge2[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]gmc_1963[/bold] wrote: Any attempt to build near Askham Bog would be disgraceful, it is a nationaly important SSSI If you are interested, you can read more about it here http://www.ywt.org.u k/York[/p][/quote]Not interested,we need more houses and not more insects.[/p][/quote]Tired of living under a bridge? again
  • Score: -53

11:33am Fri 13 Jun 14

Dave Ruddock says...

It does seem there are a few bad ideas from the council regards housing, and some good ideas. Just hoping there is more use of (Brown) sites that are planned for use, housing etc. and i would suggest the council use the idea of smaller housing foot pints, TOWER FLATS, not hector or acreage bungalows, and fancy mansion style housing. Hope council hear lol
It does seem there are a few bad ideas from the council regards housing, and some good ideas. Just hoping there is more use of (Brown) sites that are planned for use, housing etc. and i would suggest the council use the idea of smaller housing foot pints, TOWER FLATS, not hector or acreage bungalows, and fancy mansion style housing. Hope council hear lol Dave Ruddock
  • Score: -7

1:03pm Fri 13 Jun 14

Jalymo says...

The huge increase in development mostly on green belt is not in the interests of York. It is being proposed by politically motivated COYC. There is no infrastructure or demand to support 22,000 houses in 15 years. Where are the jobs for all these people? Where are the plans for a new hospital and schools? The proposals are too extreme. If you spoil the things that people love about York, it ceases to be a place where people want to live. There are 2000 people on the Council waiting list., but most of these proposed homes will be bought by out of town speculators as buy to let properties and commuters from places like Leeds. There should be no need to grab green belt and put our precious areas at risk. Build on the brownfield sites first. Don't be fooled by the developers, they see big profit in green belt sites, nor by COYC who have sexed up the justification for a 25% increase in Yorks population over 15 years.
The huge increase in development mostly on green belt is not in the interests of York. It is being proposed by politically motivated COYC. There is no infrastructure or demand to support 22,000 houses in 15 years. Where are the jobs for all these people? Where are the plans for a new hospital and schools? The proposals are too extreme. If you spoil the things that people love about York, it ceases to be a place where people want to live. There are 2000 people on the Council waiting list., but most of these proposed homes will be bought by out of town speculators as buy to let properties and commuters from places like Leeds. There should be no need to grab green belt and put our precious areas at risk. Build on the brownfield sites first. Don't be fooled by the developers, they see big profit in green belt sites, nor by COYC who have sexed up the justification for a 25% increase in Yorks population over 15 years. Jalymo
  • Score: -19

1:48pm Fri 13 Jun 14

YorkPatrol says...

smudge2 wrote:
gmc_1963 wrote: Any attempt to build near Askham Bog would be disgraceful, it is a nationaly important SSSI If you are interested, you can read more about it here http://www.ywt.org.u k/York
Not interested,we need more houses and not more insects.
You total thicket...

That's just point - We don't need any more housing. The population of York is simply out growing the infrastructure…. But I doubt someone with your intellect would grasp that
[quote][p][bold]smudge2[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]gmc_1963[/bold] wrote: Any attempt to build near Askham Bog would be disgraceful, it is a nationaly important SSSI If you are interested, you can read more about it here http://www.ywt.org.u k/York[/p][/quote]Not interested,we need more houses and not more insects.[/p][/quote]You total thicket... That's just point - We don't need any more housing. The population of York is simply out growing the infrastructure…. But I doubt someone with your intellect would grasp that YorkPatrol
  • Score: -56

2:42pm Fri 13 Jun 14

Jack Ham says...

Nothing is sacred under Labours Local Plan.

The only thing we know for sure is more of our money will be spent on traveller sites, the roads will get busier, there will be more competition for school places and GP appointments will be harder to come by.

Vote Labour? Vote Disaster.
Nothing is sacred under Labours Local Plan. The only thing we know for sure is more of our money will be spent on traveller sites, the roads will get busier, there will be more competition for school places and GP appointments will be harder to come by. Vote Labour? Vote Disaster. Jack Ham
  • Score: -40

2:45pm Fri 13 Jun 14

Matt_S says...

I'm happy to prioritise nature above housing.

And I'm sure everyone here is happy to keep paying higher taxes to pay for my housing benefit/working tax credits.
I'm happy to prioritise nature above housing. And I'm sure everyone here is happy to keep paying higher taxes to pay for my housing benefit/working tax credits. Matt_S
  • Score: 9

2:54pm Fri 13 Jun 14

courier46 says...

We cannot take the amount of housing these morons are putting foward,as said above the infrastructure is not in place and never will be.
We cannot take the amount of housing these morons are putting foward,as said above the infrastructure is not in place and never will be. courier46
  • Score: -45

3:55pm Fri 13 Jun 14

Matt_S says...

Matt_S wrote:
I'm happy to prioritise nature above housing.

And I'm sure everyone here is happy to keep paying higher taxes to pay for my housing benefit/working tax credits.
Of course, if you're *not* happy to support those on low incomes, but also oppose things that would decrease their cost of living, then I can only conclude that you hate poor people.
[quote][p][bold]Matt_S[/bold] wrote: I'm happy to prioritise nature above housing. And I'm sure everyone here is happy to keep paying higher taxes to pay for my housing benefit/working tax credits.[/p][/quote]Of course, if you're *not* happy to support those on low incomes, but also oppose things that would decrease their cost of living, then I can only conclude that you hate poor people. Matt_S
  • Score: -40

3:59pm Fri 13 Jun 14

meme says...

unfortunately THE COUNCIL HAVE TO SATSIFY A SET OF TARGETS WHICH ARE GENREATED BY RESEARCH INTO LIKELEY HOUSING DEMAND OVER THE NEXT 25 YEARS
This means that they HAVE to allocate enough sites or the plans will be thrown out again .I suspect they will be anyway as NOT ENOUGH land has actually been allocated to hit the targets which means more unpopular allocations of green belt land etc as like it or no there are not enough brownfield sites alone to satisfy the demand.
So for those who believe there will be no green belt development they are going to be seriously disappointed.
The UK also has an issue with housing sizes we build virtually the smallest houses in Europe and already ministers etc are saying we should build bigger. in York we have an issue with height so we are not going to be saved by towering flats which means if we want homes for all of all tenures from flats/bungalows/terr
aces/semis/detached etc we HAVE to use green land. Not palatable but true...........All councils will try to put off the evil day when they have to make their intentions known and will try to obscure and delay their intentions but the sad truth is we are a small city with big demand and that means loss of green land
The secret therefore has to be to make sure that any green land developed is done appropriately and not filled with ticky tacky boxes...Unfortunatel
y this will NOT be the case as the Council will try to maximise densities which means small units to minimise the loss of green land.
We and the Council are in an unwinnable game. They have to identify land to satisfy the targets but no one wants development on fields near them...There is no happy answer and we have to realise that
My advice would be to buy the biggest house near the centre you can get now, which is not going to have development nearby and just wait, as in the future new homes will be smaller and tackier and further out so yours will be a great investment but I may be wrong!
unfortunately THE COUNCIL HAVE TO SATSIFY A SET OF TARGETS WHICH ARE GENREATED BY RESEARCH INTO LIKELEY HOUSING DEMAND OVER THE NEXT 25 YEARS This means that they HAVE to allocate enough sites or the plans will be thrown out again .I suspect they will be anyway as NOT ENOUGH land has actually been allocated to hit the targets which means more unpopular allocations of green belt land etc as like it or no there are not enough brownfield sites alone to satisfy the demand. So for those who believe there will be no green belt development they are going to be seriously disappointed. The UK also has an issue with housing sizes we build virtually the smallest houses in Europe and already ministers etc are saying we should build bigger. in York we have an issue with height so we are not going to be saved by towering flats which means if we want homes for all of all tenures from flats/bungalows/terr aces/semis/detached etc we HAVE to use green land. Not palatable but true...........All councils will try to put off the evil day when they have to make their intentions known and will try to obscure and delay their intentions but the sad truth is we are a small city with big demand and that means loss of green land The secret therefore has to be to make sure that any green land developed is done appropriately and not filled with ticky tacky boxes...Unfortunatel y this will NOT be the case as the Council will try to maximise densities which means small units to minimise the loss of green land. We and the Council [to be fair to them] are in an unwinnable game. They have to identify land to satisfy the targets but no one wants development on fields near them...There is no happy answer and we have to realise that My advice would be to buy the biggest house near the centre you can get now, which is not going to have development nearby and just wait, as in the future new homes will be smaller and tackier and further out so yours will be a great investment but I may be wrong! meme
  • Score: -26

4:35pm Fri 13 Jun 14

tobefair says...

I agree that sites of Special Scientific Interest should be protected at all costs. I would hazard a guess that the building of the new park & ride site at Askham Bar has already affected the wildlife at Askham Bogs and any further development in the vicinity would cause even more damage to a fragile area. The problem is that even brownfield sites have "nature" on them and the Council needs to prove their "green" credentials by carefully judging what to destroy and what to protect. Perhaps giving up the idea of building 22,000 new homes in 15 years would be a start.
I agree that sites of Special Scientific Interest should be protected at all costs. I would hazard a guess that the building of the new park & ride site at Askham Bar has already affected the wildlife at Askham Bogs and any further development in the vicinity would cause even more damage to a fragile area. The problem is that even brownfield sites have "nature" on them and the Council needs to prove their "green" credentials by carefully judging what to destroy and what to protect. Perhaps giving up the idea of building 22,000 new homes in 15 years would be a start. tobefair
  • Score: -24

6:38pm Fri 13 Jun 14

Jalymo says...

There is a new proposal for a gas terminal and freight transfer depot on the A1237 just off the A64 Copmanthorpe roundabout, by the water tower. This land is also close to Askham Bog. How will all the freight that has been transferred get into York.? Through densely populated areas! Madness!
There is a new proposal for a gas terminal and freight transfer depot on the A1237 just off the A64 Copmanthorpe roundabout, by the water tower. This land is also close to Askham Bog. How will all the freight that has been transferred get into York.? Through densely populated areas! Madness! Jalymo
  • Score: -15

7:09pm Fri 13 Jun 14

nowthen says...

According to a well known pedantic troll who posts on here regularly ; building more roads causes more cars to appear on the roads , therefore , following his logic, building more houses will cause more people to breed and have children ! therefore by not building and actually demolishing houses we can actually solve the exponentially increasing world population and save the planet ! ..... yeah, of course I'm not serious , but it's a fact that unfettered population growth can't go on indefinitely , I don't have an answer to that political hot potato , China had a stab at it and failed , I guess Darwinism'll be the final arbiter.
According to a well known pedantic troll who posts on here regularly ; building more roads causes more cars to appear on the roads , therefore , following his logic, building more houses will cause more people to breed and have children ! therefore by not building and actually demolishing houses we can actually solve the exponentially increasing world population and save the planet ! ..... yeah, of course I'm not serious , but it's a fact that unfettered population growth can't go on indefinitely , I don't have an answer to that political hot potato , China had a stab at it and failed , I guess Darwinism'll be the final arbiter. nowthen
  • Score: -82

9:46pm Fri 13 Jun 14

nowthen says...

nowthen wrote:
According to a well known pedantic troll who posts on here regularly ; building more roads causes more cars to appear on the roads , therefore , following his logic, building more houses will cause more people to breed and have children ! therefore by not building and actually demolishing houses we can actually solve the exponentially increasing world population and save the planet ! ..... yeah, of course I'm not serious , but it's a fact that unfettered population growth can't go on indefinitely , I don't have an answer to that political hot potato , China had a stab at it and failed , I guess Darwinism'll be the final arbiter.
At this moment in time I'm leading in the thumbs down department , could this be because I've mentioned the pedantic troll ? Either way I couldn't give a t@ss. York's shafted until the loony left we know best brigade is booted out.
[quote][p][bold]nowthen[/bold] wrote: According to a well known pedantic troll who posts on here regularly ; building more roads causes more cars to appear on the roads , therefore , following his logic, building more houses will cause more people to breed and have children ! therefore by not building and actually demolishing houses we can actually solve the exponentially increasing world population and save the planet ! ..... yeah, of course I'm not serious , but it's a fact that unfettered population growth can't go on indefinitely , I don't have an answer to that political hot potato , China had a stab at it and failed , I guess Darwinism'll be the final arbiter.[/p][/quote]At this moment in time I'm leading in the thumbs down department , could this be because I've mentioned the pedantic troll ? Either way I couldn't give a t@ss. York's shafted until the loony left we know best brigade is booted out. nowthen
  • Score: -20

11:26pm Fri 13 Jun 14

far2bizzy says...

nowthen wrote:
According to a well known pedantic troll who posts on here regularly ; building more roads causes more cars to appear on the roads , therefore , following his logic, building more houses will cause more people to breed and have children ! therefore by not building and actually demolishing houses we can actually solve the exponentially increasing world population and save the planet ! ..... yeah, of course I'm not serious , but it's a fact that unfettered population growth can't go on indefinitely , I don't have an answer to that political hot potato , China had a stab at it and failed , I guess Darwinism'll be the final arbiter.
The increase in global population is not increasing exponentially and has nothing to do with births. We have already reached a point where births and deaths are in equilibrium. Global population is still on the increase because we are all living longer. This will be negated by the end of the century (at 11 billion) when the increase in the number of deaths over those of births exceeds the effect of increased ageing.
[quote][p][bold]nowthen[/bold] wrote: According to a well known pedantic troll who posts on here regularly ; building more roads causes more cars to appear on the roads , therefore , following his logic, building more houses will cause more people to breed and have children ! therefore by not building and actually demolishing houses we can actually solve the exponentially increasing world population and save the planet ! ..... yeah, of course I'm not serious , but it's a fact that unfettered population growth can't go on indefinitely , I don't have an answer to that political hot potato , China had a stab at it and failed , I guess Darwinism'll be the final arbiter.[/p][/quote]The increase in global population is not increasing exponentially and has nothing to do with births. We have already reached a point where births and deaths are in equilibrium. Global population is still on the increase because we are all living longer. This will be negated by the end of the century (at 11 billion) when the increase in the number of deaths over those of births exceeds the effect of increased ageing. far2bizzy
  • Score: -11

12:55am Sat 14 Jun 14

jmumof3 says...

We do need housing but Askham Bog is of coinsiderable ecological importance. remember that it is also a high water table area. If it is disrupted and the water table lowered, that means more flooding into homes for York residents, and really, for this reason, housing in the vicinity is a liability anyway.
We do need housing but Askham Bog is of coinsiderable ecological importance. remember that it is also a high water table area. If it is disrupted and the water table lowered, that means more flooding into homes for York residents, and really, for this reason, housing in the vicinity is a liability anyway. jmumof3
  • Score: -34

9:31pm Sat 14 Jun 14

A.P.Feeders says...

Jalymo wrote:
The huge increase in development mostly on green belt is not in the interests of York. It is being proposed by politically motivated COYC. There is no infrastructure or demand to support 22,000 houses in 15 years. Where are the jobs for all these people? Where are the plans for a new hospital and schools? The proposals are too extreme. If you spoil the things that people love about York, it ceases to be a place where people want to live. There are 2000 people on the Council waiting list., but most of these proposed homes will be bought by out of town speculators as buy to let properties and commuters from places like Leeds. There should be no need to grab green belt and put our precious areas at risk. Build on the brownfield sites first. Don't be fooled by the developers, they see big profit in green belt sites, nor by COYC who have sexed up the justification for a 25% increase in Yorks population over 15 years.
Good comment.but again the labour score adjuster is at work
[quote][p][bold]Jalymo[/bold] wrote: The huge increase in development mostly on green belt is not in the interests of York. It is being proposed by politically motivated COYC. There is no infrastructure or demand to support 22,000 houses in 15 years. Where are the jobs for all these people? Where are the plans for a new hospital and schools? The proposals are too extreme. If you spoil the things that people love about York, it ceases to be a place where people want to live. There are 2000 people on the Council waiting list., but most of these proposed homes will be bought by out of town speculators as buy to let properties and commuters from places like Leeds. There should be no need to grab green belt and put our precious areas at risk. Build on the brownfield sites first. Don't be fooled by the developers, they see big profit in green belt sites, nor by COYC who have sexed up the justification for a 25% increase in Yorks population over 15 years.[/p][/quote]Good comment.but again the labour score adjuster is at work A.P.Feeders
  • Score: -30

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