Fourteen days to decide the future of Askham Bog – as planning inquiry starts

The inquiry is being held in the Citadel on Gillygate. Photograph © Google Street View

An inquiry into plans to build more than 500 homes on land near Askham Bog begins tomorrow (Tuesday).

A government planning inspector is due to examine evidence during hearings at the Citadel on Gillygate.

Developers Barwood Lane want to build up to 516 homes on land off Moor Lane – adjacent to the bog – which is run by Yorkshire Wildlife Trust.

But City of York Council’s planning committee rejected the scheme at a meeting in July on the grounds that the site is in the Green Belt, concerns about the impact on the bog and worries about the effect on transport and school places.

The developer appealed the decision and it will now go to hearings set to last for 12 days.

Expert testimony

Ancient greenery… Askham Bog. Photograph © Johnson Cameraface on Flickr
The inquiry will start at 10am and hear evidence from a number of experts after the opening statements.

On the final day of hearings – which is set to be November 29 – the council, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and the developer will give closing statements.

The inquiry will then be adjourned for the inspector to consider the evidence.

Following a fundraising campaign, £28,000 has been donated to the wildlife trust to help them fight the plans at the public inquiry.

And more than 7,600 people, including Sir David Attenborough, had raised objections to the development plans. Sir David made fresh calls for “all those who love the natural world” to help fight the proposals.

But the developers claim the scheme presents an excellent opportunity to help address York’s acute housing needs in an environmentally sustainable way and would offer protection to the bog, with a permanent and impenetrable barrier created on its northern edge.