31 things you need to know about York’s local plan

12 Sep 2014 @ 7.26 pm
| Business, Environment, News, Politics, Property, Transport
Leader of the council James Alexander (centre) launches the local plan, with help from fellow councillors Dave Merrett and Tracey Simpson-Laing. Photograph: YorkMix

York’s draft local plan has been revised. The new version, set to go before the council cabinet later this month, was revealed by council leader James Alexander at a press conference in West Offices on Friday (September 12). Here’s what you need to know.

1.The York Local Plan is the document which will shape development in the Greater York area until at least 2030.
2.York has not had an official local plan since 1956.
3.The plan is needed now because otherwise developers would have a "free for all" to build anywhere, the council says.
4.During a two-stage consultation, the council received more than 18,500 responses to the local plan.
5.The local plan is needed "to accommodate a population growth of around 40,000 people over the next 15-years," says Cllr David Levene, cabinet member for transport.
6.To try to alleviate the further pressure for housing, the new Local Plan would see at least 996 homes built every year between 2015 and 2030.
7.And for the first six years – 2015-2021 – enough land would be made available to build 1,710 homes a year.
8.That adds up to a total of 16,980 new homes – down from 22,000 in the previous draft of the local plan.
9.This reduction was partly influenced by the public feedback to the previous draft and the response from the Green Party, James Alexander said.
10.With the defection of Labour councillor Helen Douglas to the Conservatives, the Labour Party has lost overall control of the council. The Green Party has said it could support Labour if its house-building plans plans were reconsidered.
11.80% of the homes will be built on greenfield sites.
12.This means many communities "are still facing urban sprawl and unsustainable overdevelopment that will have an irreversible impact on their character and setting," said the Tory MP for York Outer Julian Sturdy.
13.But the council leaders insisted they had done all they could to identify brownfield (ie previously developed) sites that were feasible for new housing.
14. A total of 67 sites have been identified for housing in Greater York.
15.The four largest sites are:
– the new town of Whinthorpe, south east of York
– east of Metcalfe Lane;
Clifton Gate (north of Clifton Moor); and
– land north of Monks Cross.
16.Over the next 25 years, 5,580 new homes are earmarked for Whinthorpe, and 2,800 for Clifton Gate.
17.On land north of Monks Cross 1,100 homes would be built over the life of the plan period and about 1,400 homes in total.
18.Altogether 1,205 homes are planned for land east of Metcalfe Lane during the life of the plan, with 1,800 envisaged in total.
19.There is a gulf between York residents' incomes and house prices.
Average York income: £22,100
Average York house price: £187,752
20."There are people born here and brought up here who can't afford to live here, and are having to leave this city" – Cllr James Alexander.
21. "It will be more affordable" – Cllr Alexander on the results of building 17,000 new homes in York.
22.Part of the plan would see the creation of a permanent Green Belt, for the first time in the city's history.
23.But pockets of land will be excluded from the Green Belt for potential development after the local plan has ended in 2030 - referred to as ‘safeguarded land’.
24.The council envisages a total of £300m will be needed to upgrade transport infrastructure to make these developments feasible.
25.This would include dualling the outer ring road and extending the roundabouts.
26.Apart from the city centre the main areas earmarked for 'employment land' are:
York Central: 80,000 sq m office space;
Monks Cross North: 64,000 sq m office space;
– south of Elvington Airfield Business Park: 30,400 sq m light industrial;
– land south of Designer Outlet: 23,520 sq m of light industrial;
University of York Heslington East Campus and expansion: 24,000 sq m research & development;
land at Hull Road: 16,000 sq m research & development;
Hungate: 12,000 sq m office space.
27.Two sites previously earmarked for gypsy, traveller and showpeople pitches have been dropped – those at Dunnington and off Malton Road
28. New sites allocated for gypsies, travellers and showpeople are at:
– Moor Lane and the B1224, Rufforth;
– Acres Farm, Naburn, and
– The Stables, Elvington.
29.Growth in the city envisaged by the local plan will create an estimated 13,500 jobs.
30.“This remains a pivotal step for York, the plan will create the first Green Belt for York and includes policies to protect York’s heritage, preventing an unplanned free for all approach and protecting York’s special qualities for future generations."

– Dave Merrett, the council’s cabinet member for environmental services, planning and sustainability

31.The timetable…
September 22 Meeting of the council's Local Plan Working Group
September 25 The Local Plan Report goes before the council cabinet
From October six-week public consultation
December 2014 Plan submitted to the Government’s Secretary of State, Eric Pickles, for examination.


  • The story was amended on Saturday, September 13 at 10.43am to change the total of Clifton Gate homes to a revised figure; and to make clear the source of the population growth figures.