AN INVESTIGATION has been launched into claims a new development has caused drainage problems in York.

Last week, The Press reported nature campaigners were concerned by the felling of trees at the former Our Lady’s RC Primary School site in Hob Moor, where plans for a 55-home development were agreed by City of York Council in December.

The site is beside Hob Moor Nature Reserve, and Sue Wherrett, of the Friends of Hob Moor Nature Reserve, said she had been contacted by a resident of Radford House, close to the site.

Sue said: “She told me that in the grounds at the rear of Radford House, large bare clay-like patches have started to appear and the ground seems to be swelling upwards.”

The resident, who is also a member of the Kingsway Area Residents Association, also claimed workmen attending neighbouring Carlton House had found their ladders now sank into the ground.

Sue said: “It is interesting to note that this has never happened before, even in previous persistent torrential downpours, and is arguably the direct result of the removal of a substantial number of mature trees from the side of the site which lies adjacent to both Radford House and Carlton House.

“The area of the Moor around the site is also badly affected, indeed I would go as far as to suggest that if any of the cattle currently grazing on the Moor were to wander into some of the huge pools of standing water adjacent to the site they are in danger of getting stuck in the sticky clay.”

A spokeswoman for City of York Council said an enforcement case had been raised by the authority “to investigate whether there is any breach of planning control”, but could not provide any more information.

The council previously confirmed the trees were not subject to Tree Preservation Orders, and “significant new planting” was planned by developers.

A spokeswoman for Yorkshire Housing, who are developing the site, previously told The Press the trees had been removed from May 19 “as per approved plans”, and was part of work to have the site ready for construction later this year.

Separately last week, the building site at the old school was set alight after being targeted by arsonists. An investigation is continuing.