Flats plan beside park sparks fury

Residents who are up in arms about the proposals to build on Fenwick Street Green

Residents who are up in arms about the proposals to build on Fenwick Street Green

First published in News
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HOUSING bosses are on a collision course with residents over moves to build flats on green space in York.

City of York Council wants to build the eight two-bedroom flats to accommodate pensioners downsizing due to the so-called "bedroom tax".

Social landlords are eyeing up a plot on the edge of Rowntree Park, at the end of Fenwick Street off Bishopthorpe Road.

Residents have had a showdown with local councillors to underline their opposition to the proposals submitted to York Council by the authority’s house-building team.

The objectors say Fenwick Street dates back to the 1880s and its historic setting will be spoiled by the development.

Nicola Thomis, 33, a resident for seven years, said: “Fenwick Street Park is very well used parkland. A lot of people walk their dogs there and the kids love to play there in summer.

“It is a lovely park which is a great communal space. I have seen lot of foxes and bats there and we get ducks and geese from Rowntree Park.

“If they build here, the street will lose all its character. It will feel hemmed in and dominated by the three-storey monstrosity that they are proposing.

“The site is in flood zone 2, which means there is a significant risk of it flooding, a fact that the council planners seem to have conveniently ignored.”

Another objector Kate Thorley, also 33, who has also lived on the street for seven years, said: “It is going to crowd the area out.

“At the moment, we have a nice view and a sense of space. It is green land. Surely, there are other brown sites they can use to stop this green space being lost forever.”

Local Councillor and York Lord Mayor Julie Gunnell said: “It is group policy to build on brown field sites.

“There is a desperate shortage of housing. I understand this is going to be for social need.

“However, I have been contacted by local residents and feel quite strongly there voice should be heard. The land is well used by the local community.”

York Council say the scheme is targeted as older tenants considering downsizing from their urgently-required larger family council houses, into more compact, manageable homes.

The site had been earmarked in the Council’s five-year housing plan approved by Cabinet in April last year.

The aim is to cut the acute housing need using £6 million from reserves, plus a £1m top up, to build up to 70 new homes by summer 2015.

Coun Tracey Simpson-Laing, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “We’re committed to providing local people with good-quality, affordable housing.

“Offering attractive alternatives for people who no longer need a larger home, means we can free more properties suitable for growing families and offer a decent, affordable home to those in desperate housing need.”

A 32-page flood risk assessment has been submitted to planners, stating parts of the site flooded in 1978 - but before defences were raised on that part of the Ouse.

The consultants say precautionary measures will be included in the design to protect the new homes against any risk.

Comments (28)

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12:39pm Tue 22 Apr 14

BL2 says...

Disgusting! Not at all suitable for the proposed hosing!
Disgusting! Not at all suitable for the proposed hosing! BL2
  • Score: -9

12:40pm Tue 22 Apr 14

Dave Ruddock says...

their are plenty on BROWN sites in and around York and if the council opens their eye, they will see. The Eye(tear) drop site on the railway, Parliment street, , Ex Rowntrees and Terry sites..
their are plenty on BROWN sites in and around York and if the council opens their eye, they will see. The Eye(tear) drop site on the railway, Parliment street, , Ex Rowntrees and Terry sites.. Dave Ruddock
  • Score: -7

12:55pm Tue 22 Apr 14

redbluelion says...

Not on our green brigade out in force.excuses its somewhere to walk the dogs and kids to play ,if its a park kids play in then dogs should be kept out of there. what happens if one of these dogs attacks a kid in the park.
Not on our green brigade out in force.excuses its somewhere to walk the dogs and kids to play ,if its a park kids play in then dogs should be kept out of there. what happens if one of these dogs attacks a kid in the park. redbluelion
  • Score: -2

1:00pm Tue 22 Apr 14

redbluelion says...

And for the record i have a dog my self and will never ever take it in a park or any other place kids run about and play,you can't trust dogs like that they can become excited and attack someone. Think you people keep dogs away from play areas.
And for the record i have a dog my self and will never ever take it in a park or any other place kids run about and play,you can't trust dogs like that they can become excited and attack someone. Think you people keep dogs away from play areas. redbluelion
  • Score: 25

1:01pm Tue 22 Apr 14

satsuma100 says...

Its disgusting that the council are even contemplating building on what is a lovely communally used area! Leave it alone for everyone to enjoy.
Its disgusting that the council are even contemplating building on what is a lovely communally used area! Leave it alone for everyone to enjoy. satsuma100
  • Score: 3

1:10pm Tue 22 Apr 14

marvell says...

This is the tip of the iceberg. This hapless Labour administration wants to build 22,000 houses in York and if past issues are an indicator of whether they will listen - will steamroller opposition...
This is the tip of the iceberg. This hapless Labour administration wants to build 22,000 houses in York and if past issues are an indicator of whether they will listen - will steamroller opposition... marvell
  • Score: 1

1:23pm Tue 22 Apr 14

yorkandproud says...

Tracy Simpson-Laing and controversy go hand in hand. She can't approach any task without upsetting residents. She is totally obsessed with "affordable housing" , even if it means steamrollering through existing neighbourhoods. Disgusting.
Tracy Simpson-Laing and controversy go hand in hand. She can't approach any task without upsetting residents. She is totally obsessed with "affordable housing" , even if it means steamrollering through existing neighbourhoods. Disgusting. yorkandproud
  • Score: 36

1:27pm Tue 22 Apr 14

YorkPatrol says...

redbluelion wrote:
And for the record i have a dog my self and will never ever take it in a park or any other place kids run about and play,you can't trust dogs like that they can become excited and attack someone. Think you people keep dogs away from play areas.
Get a grip
[quote][p][bold]redbluelion[/bold] wrote: And for the record i have a dog my self and will never ever take it in a park or any other place kids run about and play,you can't trust dogs like that they can become excited and attack someone. Think you people keep dogs away from play areas.[/p][/quote]Get a grip YorkPatrol
  • Score: 29

1:36pm Tue 22 Apr 14

eeoodares says...

redbluelion wrote:
Not on our green brigade out in force.excuses its somewhere to walk the dogs and kids to play ,if its a park kids play in then dogs should be kept out of there. what happens if one of these dogs attacks a kid in the park.
So nobody should defend their green space?

Where do you walk your dog where there are no people?
[quote][p][bold]redbluelion[/bold] wrote: Not on our green brigade out in force.excuses its somewhere to walk the dogs and kids to play ,if its a park kids play in then dogs should be kept out of there. what happens if one of these dogs attacks a kid in the park.[/p][/quote]So nobody should defend their green space? Where do you walk your dog where there are no people? eeoodares
  • Score: -14

1:36pm Tue 22 Apr 14

jaycee says...

Technically what the council say is incorrect.They want people to move from ,presumably ,3 bedroomed family homes to 2 bedroomed flats which means that pensioners whether they be a couple or single will be classed as having 1 bedroom too many (so will have to pay the extra tax).My wife and i applied to move from a 3 bedroomed house to a 2 bedroomed and were told no chance-the only move we could make would be to a 1 bedroomed flat.We declined .This policy needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.
Technically what the council say is incorrect.They want people to move from ,presumably ,3 bedroomed family homes to 2 bedroomed flats which means that pensioners whether they be a couple or single will be classed as having 1 bedroom too many (so will have to pay the extra tax).My wife and i applied to move from a 3 bedroomed house to a 2 bedroomed and were told no chance-the only move we could make would be to a 1 bedroomed flat.We declined .This policy needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency. jaycee
  • Score: -13

1:39pm Tue 22 Apr 14

eeoodares says...

I was under the impression Mr Rowntree gave it as a gift to the people of York, not as building land for the Council?
I was under the impression Mr Rowntree gave it as a gift to the people of York, not as building land for the Council? eeoodares
  • Score: 8

1:46pm Tue 22 Apr 14

redbluelion says...

eeoodares wrote:
redbluelion wrote: Not on our green brigade out in force.excuses its somewhere to walk the dogs and kids to play ,if its a park kids play in then dogs should be kept out of there. what happens if one of these dogs attacks a kid in the park.
So nobody should defend their green space? Where do you walk your dog where there are no people?
in the countryside ...
[quote][p][bold]eeoodares[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]redbluelion[/bold] wrote: Not on our green brigade out in force.excuses its somewhere to walk the dogs and kids to play ,if its a park kids play in then dogs should be kept out of there. what happens if one of these dogs attacks a kid in the park.[/p][/quote]So nobody should defend their green space? Where do you walk your dog where there are no people?[/p][/quote]in the countryside ... redbluelion
  • Score: 24

2:40pm Tue 22 Apr 14

meme says...

Because its supposedly for affordable housing TSL and crowd will back it as they are the ones who vote for her and her hapless cronies!
Because its supposedly for affordable housing TSL and crowd will back it as they are the ones who vote for her and her hapless cronies! meme
  • Score: -4

3:19pm Tue 22 Apr 14

YorkPatrol says...

redbluelion wrote:
eeoodares wrote:
redbluelion wrote: Not on our green brigade out in force.excuses its somewhere to walk the dogs and kids to play ,if its a park kids play in then dogs should be kept out of there. what happens if one of these dogs attacks a kid in the park.
So nobody should defend their green space? Where do you walk your dog where there are no people?
in the countryside ...
because there's never any other people or children in the countryside is there.....

People like you should'nt be allowed to keep dogs - you are clearly deranged
[quote][p][bold]redbluelion[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]eeoodares[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]redbluelion[/bold] wrote: Not on our green brigade out in force.excuses its somewhere to walk the dogs and kids to play ,if its a park kids play in then dogs should be kept out of there. what happens if one of these dogs attacks a kid in the park.[/p][/quote]So nobody should defend their green space? Where do you walk your dog where there are no people?[/p][/quote]in the countryside ...[/p][/quote]because there's never any other people or children in the countryside is there..... People like you should'nt be allowed to keep dogs - you are clearly deranged YorkPatrol
  • Score: 9

4:01pm Tue 22 Apr 14

Pinza-C55 says...

"Local Councillor and York Lord Mayor Julie Gunnell said: “It is group policy to build on brown field sites.

“There is a desperate shortage of housing. I understand this is going to be for social need."

I don't understand. Is she saying this is a brown field site? How come?
"Local Councillor and York Lord Mayor Julie Gunnell said: “It is group policy to build on brown field sites. “There is a desperate shortage of housing. I understand this is going to be for social need." I don't understand. Is she saying this is a brown field site? How come? Pinza-C55
  • Score: 18

4:24pm Tue 22 Apr 14

greenmonkey says...

Pinza-C55 wrote:
"Local Councillor and York Lord Mayor Julie Gunnell said: “It is group policy to build on brown field sites.

“There is a desperate shortage of housing. I understand this is going to be for social need."

I don't understand. Is she saying this is a brown field site? How come?
'Brownfield' used to be taken as anywhere within a built up area. However the coalition govt changed guidance to discourage 'garden grabbing' and surely this should include areas of public green space?
[quote][p][bold]Pinza-C55[/bold] wrote: "Local Councillor and York Lord Mayor Julie Gunnell said: “It is group policy to build on brown field sites. “There is a desperate shortage of housing. I understand this is going to be for social need." I don't understand. Is she saying this is a brown field site? How come?[/p][/quote]'Brownfield' used to be taken as anywhere within a built up area. However the coalition govt changed guidance to discourage 'garden grabbing' and surely this should include areas of public green space? greenmonkey
  • Score: -13

4:37pm Tue 22 Apr 14

Pinza-C55 says...

greenmonkey wrote:
Pinza-C55 wrote:
"Local Councillor and York Lord Mayor Julie Gunnell said: “It is group policy to build on brown field sites.

“There is a desperate shortage of housing. I understand this is going to be for social need."

I don't understand. Is she saying this is a brown field site? How come?
'Brownfield' used to be taken as anywhere within a built up area. However the coalition govt changed guidance to discourage 'garden grabbing' and surely this should include areas of public green space?
Oh thanks. I always took Brownfield as being like the huge site of the former sugar factory, derelict land.
[quote][p][bold]greenmonkey[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Pinza-C55[/bold] wrote: "Local Councillor and York Lord Mayor Julie Gunnell said: “It is group policy to build on brown field sites. “There is a desperate shortage of housing. I understand this is going to be for social need." I don't understand. Is she saying this is a brown field site? How come?[/p][/quote]'Brownfield' used to be taken as anywhere within a built up area. However the coalition govt changed guidance to discourage 'garden grabbing' and surely this should include areas of public green space?[/p][/quote]Oh thanks. I always took Brownfield as being like the huge site of the former sugar factory, derelict land. Pinza-C55
  • Score: -15

4:40pm Tue 22 Apr 14

acomblass says...

It is custom and practice for the Lord Mayor to keep out of party politics during their term of office so that they can chair council meetings impartially. This looks to be another own goal.
It is custom and practice for the Lord Mayor to keep out of party politics during their term of office so that they can chair council meetings impartially. This looks to be another own goal. acomblass
  • Score: -4

5:09pm Tue 22 Apr 14

popsiclesnsticks says...

This small area of green land makes a huge difference to those who live in, and near, Fenwick Street - children can play in a safely fenced area with grass under their feet rather than concrete; local folks exercise their (well-behaved and non-bitey) dogs (and clean up after them) - being able to let their pooches off the lead to run about. And, they can do this at any time they wish, not just during Rowntree's Park opening hours and not just when the Park isn't flooded (which is for many weeks each year, and on the rise)
Although I am neither a parent nor a canine-owner I nevertheless defend the rights of those who want to continue using The Fenwick Street Green.
My biggest issue with the building plans for eight, three-storey high, two-bedroomed residences, is not that they will:
- destroy The Green itself
- impact negatively on the wildlife that use it to sustain themselves, including hedgehogs, Charms of Goldfinches, endangered bees, declining sparrows, bats, squirrels, mice, doves, foxes, butterflies, wildflowers and grasses etc.
- fail to meet the policy to build on brownfield land
- be designed so as not to blend in with the existing housing stock
- be at risk of flooding as rainfall levels increase due to internationally, scientifically-accep
ted global warming (resulting in homelssness, stress and potential demolition of the residences in the not too distant future)
- prevent soakaway and be sited right at the bottom of the sloping road that turns into a literal river when it rains heaviy
- increase the already highly pressurised parking situation on the street which leads to elderly/disabled/hea
vily laded shopping-returnees struggling to get from their transport to their front doors
- be a hazard in terms of noise and traffic during the build itself
- and, and, and... I could keep going but I think you get the idea that there are some good reasons why this project should be stopped. Right now.
Yet, they are not my, biggest, issue.
What is my biggest issue is the overwhelmingly positive effect that The Green has on how I, and all, the Fenwick Street residents feel! If we allow this build to go ahead, it will completely block out the beautiful view of Rowntree's Park as you turn the corner. It will substitute concrete and greyness for lush, living greenery. It will not be a 'development'. It will not improve the area. It will not lift your heart when you walk out of your door and smell freshly mown grass and see birds swooping, or squirrels scampering up a tree in bloom.
Neither will it bring the laughter of children that makes the corners of your mouth turn up, even when you're feeling glum or the smile you can't prevent when you see a dog hurtling and twisting in the air to catch his ball.
You can't buy that. You can't build that. But you can kill it. Destroy it. Dead..
York Council - please don't be responsible for doing so.
Please leave The Fenwick Street Green alone.
This small area of green land makes a huge difference to those who live in, and near, Fenwick Street - children can play in a safely fenced area with grass under their feet rather than concrete; local folks exercise their (well-behaved and non-bitey) dogs (and clean up after them) - being able to let their pooches off the lead to run about. And, they can do this at any time they wish, not just during Rowntree's Park opening hours and not just when the Park isn't flooded (which is for many weeks each year, and on the rise) Although I am neither a parent nor a canine-owner I nevertheless defend the rights of those who want to continue using The Fenwick Street Green. My biggest issue with the building plans for eight, three-storey high, two-bedroomed residences, is not that they will: - destroy The Green itself - impact negatively on the wildlife that use it to sustain themselves, including hedgehogs, Charms of Goldfinches, endangered bees, declining sparrows, bats, squirrels, mice, doves, foxes, butterflies, wildflowers and grasses etc. - fail to meet the policy to build on brownfield land - be designed so as not to blend in with the existing housing stock - be at risk of flooding as rainfall levels increase due to internationally, scientifically-accep ted global warming (resulting in homelssness, stress and potential demolition of the residences in the not too distant future) - prevent soakaway and be sited right at the bottom of the sloping road that turns into a literal river when it rains heaviy - increase the already highly pressurised parking situation on the street which leads to elderly/disabled/hea vily laded shopping-returnees struggling to get from their transport to their front doors - be a hazard in terms of noise and traffic during the build itself - and, and, and... I could keep going but I think you get the idea that there are some good reasons why this project should be stopped. Right now. Yet, they are not my, biggest, issue. What is my biggest issue is the overwhelmingly positive effect that The Green has on how I, and all, the Fenwick Street residents feel! If we allow this build to go ahead, it will completely block out the beautiful view of Rowntree's Park as you turn the corner. It will substitute concrete and greyness for lush, living greenery. It will not be a 'development'. It will not improve the area. It will not lift your heart when you walk out of your door and smell freshly mown grass and see birds swooping, or squirrels scampering up a tree in bloom. Neither will it bring the laughter of children that makes the corners of your mouth turn up, even when you're feeling glum or the smile you can't prevent when you see a dog hurtling and twisting in the air to catch his ball. You can't buy that. You can't build that. But you can kill it. Destroy it. Dead.. York Council - please don't be responsible for doing so. Please leave The Fenwick Street Green alone. popsiclesnsticks
  • Score: -5

5:36pm Tue 22 Apr 14

RoseD says...

I honestly don't think the 2015 election can come fast enough.

Build on BROWNFIELD, not PARK LAND. Is it really that hard to grasp?
I honestly don't think the 2015 election can come fast enough. Build on BROWNFIELD, not PARK LAND. Is it really that hard to grasp? RoseD
  • Score: -1

6:22pm Tue 22 Apr 14

Minstermummy says...

Just because someone reached 65 does that mean they have to live in a flat if they want to downsize ??
Why don't the council build nice bungalows anymore ?
That's what's needed - not flats .
Shove all the housing officers in a flat on their own all day & see how long they like it .

Please please can we not vote TSL and her planning idiots back in next year .. They are living on a different planet to what local residents want
Just because someone reached 65 does that mean they have to live in a flat if they want to downsize ?? Why don't the council build nice bungalows anymore ? That's what's needed - not flats . Shove all the housing officers in a flat on their own all day & see how long they like it . Please please can we not vote TSL and her planning idiots back in next year .. They are living on a different planet to what local residents want Minstermummy
  • Score: 6

7:38pm Tue 22 Apr 14

Eborwatch says...

Time to find some bats or newts to thwart T S-L.
Time to find some bats or newts to thwart T S-L. Eborwatch
  • Score: 6

8:08pm Tue 22 Apr 14

Dave Ruddock says...

If parks etc are deemed Brown site land the Museum Gardens be next on the list, do wounder again if the so called Council Muppets listen to their electors "Remember Mr Merrett"
If parks etc are deemed Brown site land the Museum Gardens be next on the list, do wounder again if the so called Council Muppets listen to their electors "Remember Mr Merrett" Dave Ruddock
  • Score: 9

11:26pm Tue 22 Apr 14

akaroa says...

Prior to redevelopment this now grassed area was part of an industrial site, an engineering works, a brown field area. It was left grassed after demolition/rebuildin
g work.
Prior to redevelopment this now grassed area was part of an industrial site, an engineering works, a brown field area. It was left grassed after demolition/rebuildin g work. akaroa
  • Score: 3

8:54am Wed 23 Apr 14

Elle says...

so putting elderly people into flats is a good idea - don't the council realise that the elderly will need bungalows........if they are built they will be crammed full of families who need the 2 bedrooms.
so putting elderly people into flats is a good idea - don't the council realise that the elderly will need bungalows........if they are built they will be crammed full of families who need the 2 bedrooms. Elle
  • Score: 0

12:02pm Wed 23 Apr 14

redbluelion says...

so if im not in support of this my comments are removed even when i said nothing wrong. the press is a joke...the person who was having a go at me is allowed to keep there comments on here..now i wish for every scrap of green in york to get built on...no more parks for dogs to do there business on then kids to come along and fall in it..because thats the way the cookie crumbles.
so if im not in support of this my comments are removed even when i said nothing wrong. the press is a joke...the person who was having a go at me is allowed to keep there comments on here..now i wish for every scrap of green in york to get built on...no more parks for dogs to do there business on then kids to come along and fall in it..because thats the way the cookie crumbles. redbluelion
  • Score: -4

2:56pm Wed 23 Apr 14

long distance depressive says...

Quick, somebody go and grab that bucket of newts that was used to try and screw up the new football stadium!
Quick, somebody go and grab that bucket of newts that was used to try and screw up the new football stadium! long distance depressive
  • Score: 2

4:15pm Sun 27 Apr 14

iYorky says...

The site has always been brownfield and local residents should know this. Yes, been lovely to use while you've had the chance, but York needs more housing and this site is ideal. Oh, and it is next to a very big public park where you kids and dogs can go instead.
The site has always been brownfield and local residents should know this. Yes, been lovely to use while you've had the chance, but York needs more housing and this site is ideal. Oh, and it is next to a very big public park where you kids and dogs can go instead. iYorky
  • Score: 1

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