RESIDENTS have hinted they may go to the High Court in a last minute bid to block controversial plans for housing on a York school’s playing fields.

City of York councillors voted earlier this year to grant planning permission for homes to be built on unused fields at the Mount School, despite strong opposition from local residents.

A campaign group called Mount Vale Community subsequently called for the decision to be reviewed, claiming there were "significant errors" in an officers’ report to councillors.

The authority says now that it issued the decision notice for the erection of the 12 dwellings within the school grounds - with access and servicing off Mount Vale Drive, following the demolition of a property at 24, Mount Vale Drive - on July 26.

“As with all planning applications, there is a six-week period where an application for a judicial review of the application can be made,” said Becky Eades, head of development services. “The application is still within this time period.”

The six week period gives opponents until next Friday to lodge an application.

Murray Rose, who chairs Mount Vale Community, said it had issued a ‘letter before action’ to the council to obtain more information, as had been advised by a barrister.

“This should be done before applying for judicial review because courts would prefer alternative dispute resolution to be achieved,” he said. “The reply from the council is due shortly.”

He supplied an extract from the letter to illustrate the sort of information the group wanted.

It said information was specifically required which related to how the area planning sub-committee arrived at its decision when taking into account council policies relating to the distance replacement playing fields must be from development sites.

“Any references to these policies were absent from all published officer advice,” it claimed.

It asked for the training record for the officer responsible for producing the committee report and for the committee members.

It also asked for details of the number of applications approved since 2015 which would require a noise and vibration survey and where the vibration element of the survey was conducted in 65 minutes or any shorter period, adding: "This should also include all planning applications within 400 metres of a railway line.”

It also asked for details of the number of applications the council had approved since 2015, where details of a petition signed by residents and submitted to the council was not included in the officer’s report to committee.