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New stray bid to preserve open spaces in Osbaldwick
COMMUNITY leaders on York’s eastern outskirts are calling for a new stray to be created to preserve land as open space and protect it from development.
The site is on the eastern side of Metcalfe Lane, Osbaldwick, which local campaigners fear will be earmarked in the long term for development with 2,500 homes to help the city meet Government housing targets.
On the other side of the lane is the 540-home Derwenthorpe development, which is currently under construction after being bitterly opposed by many local residents for over a decade.
The application for stray status has been made by Osbaldwick, Heworth Without, Murton and Holtby parish councils, Meadlands Area Residents Association, Osbaldwick councillor Mark Warters and Heworth Without councillor Nigel Ayre. It also has the support of York Outer MP Julian Sturdy.
It has been submitted to City of York Council after the authority invited developers, landowners, businesses and the public to help shape York’s future Development Plan by informing it of any sites that might be considered suitable for development or redevelopment over the next 15 to 20 years or beyond.
Coun Warters said the council had identified a chronic shortage of open space on the east side of York, and the application was aimed at preserving such an area of open space with improved access for local people.
Coun Ayre said: “It is vital that we protect this piece of green belt land and maintain the character of the area. Local residents and the parish council have consistently raised concerns and we need to make sure that local opinion is properly listened to and acted on.”
Coun Dave Merrett, cabinet member for planning issues, said all submissions would be considered but stressed that the land had been identified previously for potential additional housing and this would still be examined under the new planning process.
But he said that even if it was decided to go ahead with such development, there would still be scope for one or two “mini-strays” to be created to preserve areas of open space.
A council spokesman said the deadline to submit completed forms and maps was this Friday and all potential sites and their proposed uses submitted would be taken into consideration.