NEARBY residents and political leaders have welcomed the move by St Peter’s School to withdraw a controversial application for sports facilities - and have called on the school to work with them on any future development proposals.

A statement on their behalf of Ruth Buckley, Peter Hanson and Sharon Tagger also says they are ‘relieved’ after 16 months of campaigning, saying planning staff noted the scheme's many deficiencies.

The statement continued: “Rather than divide the local community, this application united residents - 239 objections were submitted by local residents, presenting clear, compelling and defensible reasons for why this proposal is inappropriate.

“Two expert reports from a traffic consultant were also commissioned and submitted. To fund this professional input, £10,000 was raised in a matter of days, such was the strength of feeling in the community.


“The reports not only critique the applicant's methodology and assumptions, they also constructively suggest how St Peter’s might move forward to embrace sustainable transport principles, rendering their car-centric proposal redundant.”

After calling for the school to work with them better in future, the campaigners praise the hard work of council planners in assessing the application.

They added: “They robustly and impartially held the applicant to the relevant standards. We have worked hard as a Community to expose the weaknesses in the proposal and feel that Officers have given appropriate weight to our legitimate concerns.

York Central MP Rachael Maskell welcomed the withdrawal of the application.

Ms Maskell said: “Since it was submitted, there has been very large local opposition, with very well informed views and reasoning.

"There have been concerns about the transport impact, traffic management, wildlife and ecology, protection of the green belt and the landscape with views of the Minster and the city, the protection of the environment and the green corridors alongside the river to the Site of Special Scientific Interest at Rawcliffe Meadows.

"Alongside Ward Councillors, I was pleased to facilitate a community meeting last year to pull people together, represent their views and assist throughout this process.

"I trust now that this brings closure to the matter and the local community can no longer have to have this serious concern hanging over them, but know that they have been heard and can move on. It is the right outcome and I thank everyone for all they have achieved for their community."

Cllr Danny Myers (Clifton Ward) added: “Residents locally have spent many hours engaging with the process, submitting their views and concerns.

“As Clifton Ward Councillors we have tried to support residents every step of the way and are really pleased this has led to a positive outcome.

“We always do our very best to represent residents and the overwhelming majority were really opposed to this scheme. Today is a win for the power of community coming together, taking action and having a say over the future.”