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Anger over Strensall homes plan
MORE than 100 objections have been lodged to controversial plans for a £12.4 million housing development next to a York common.
City of York Council will make a decision on proposals by Linden Homes North for 104 homes on a 4.6-hectare patch of grassland near Brecks Lane, in Strensall, in the new year, but the scheme is facing strong local opposition.
Strensall with Towthorpe Parish Council has claimed the area has “seen too much development since the 1970s”, and residents feel it is now becoming too large and roads and services will be unable to cope with a population increase.
It said proposing to build houses on the site, which is 500 yards away from Strensall Common, is “premature” and brownfield land should be developed first.
Agents acting for Linden Homes have said the development, scheduled to be determined in February, would boost the local economy by about £2 million a year and would also help the city tackle its housing shortage, while about 80 jobs could be created annually during the construction period.
The developers intend to build the homes, if approved, in a single phase with work starting early in 2014 and being completed in summer 2017.
In its objection to the development, the parish council said the number of homes proposed was 22 more than the council’s draft Local Plan allocated for the site, and the housing numbers in Linden Homes’ application should be “reduced accordingly”.
It said: “The proposed site lies at the extreme eastern boundary of the envelope of Strensall village and is as far away from any facilities and amenities as it can be.
“Strensall is referred to as a town by the applicants, but is actually a village without many basic facilities and infrastructure to support its current number of residents.”
Strensall councillor Paul Doughty has also objected, saying the council should not just consider the application itself, but its impact on the entire community, whose population he said was at “capacity breaking point”.
He said: “Further development proposed without significant infrastructure improvements– impractical anyway at this location – will only lead to further gridlock in the main village street.”
The new homes would have between two and five bedrooms and 30 per cent of them would be affordable, with an area of public open space being created and the developers making a financial contribution towards extra local school places.
In an email to planners, Alexandra Walsh, the council’s planning and environmental manager, said the land should be classed as being in the green belt and this meant Linden Homes would have to show “very special circumstances” why it should be developed. Strensall Common is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Conservation Area.
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