A DEVELOPER is outraged after being charged more than £4,000 by City of York Council for alterations to parking bay markings outside a York property.

Michael Hammill claimed that a fee of £4,101.88 to remove a couple of white lines from Howard Street, off Fulford Road, was "totally indefensible" and "scandalously obscene", and would make developers think again about building in York.

The council said it was reviewing elements of the charge which were within its control but said some costs were outside its control.

Mr Hammill said a planning Section 106 agreement for a development in Howard Street had required three parking bays to be altered by covering over white lines and adding new lines.

“The changes were needed to make access to my new development easier,” he said.

He said he thought the work could have taken no more than 30 minutes and he felt it was poorly executed.

He added that there was also "a bit of admin, but this certainly didn’t amount to much".

He said: "I find it staggering that City of York Council are charging me over £4,000 to remove a couple of white lines – how is this possibly justifiable?

“To charge over £4,000 to adapt three parking spaces is just unbelievable.

“If this is the true cost then an investigation is essential into how this is justified.”

Mr Hammill contacted council executive member Andrew Waller about the charge, who successfully pressed for a review of the officer time attributed to the proposal.

Mr Hammill subsequently wrote to the councillor to say: “I appreciate the efforts you are making to get this scandalously obscene charge reviewed.”

A council spokeswoman told The Press that the charges were made up of multiple elements.

“We are currently reviewing the areas of the charge which are within our control, which includes staff time and materials,” she said.

“Beyond these we are unable to influence other elements, including the costs of communicating and consulting on traffic orders, which includes the legal requirement for them to be advertised in a local newspaper.”

A breakdown of the costs supplied to Mr Hammill showed that £2,200 was for "project officer time.This is officer time to check site, prepare the proposed changes, organise the consultation, review the consultation responses".

There were additional fees of £577 and £288 for "admin", as well as £500 for lining and signs - "what we are charged by the contractors to do the actual job on the ground", and almost £1,000 for adverts.

Mr Hammill said: “Whilst I understand the advertising issue, the other costs are ridiculously exorbitant and will make all developers think again about working in York – this is not what we want at this time to restore our fragile economy and get York back on track.”