Issued by City of York Council
City of York Council is developing a citywide plan which aims to support the city’s economic growth, address the shortage of housing and help shape future development in York over the next 15 years and beyond.
The ambitious plan is expected to be in place by the beginning of 2015 and proposes to create a permanent Green Belt to ensure the city’s boundaries are protected until around 2040. The proposals will also create new sites for employment and housing – and for the first time – allocate safeguarded land for the city’s needs.
In line with the government’s new National Planning Policy Framework, introduced last year, a Preferred Options draft report will go before Cabinet at a special meeting on 30 April, following a meeting with the Local Plan Working Group on 22 April. If approved, the proposals outlined in the preferred options draft plan will then be opened up to the public for an eight-week consultation.
Cllr Alexander, Labour Leader of City of York Council, said: “We recognise that the biggest challenge for York is the city’s need for affordable housing. Having met with the Minister for Planning, Nick Boles MP, I’m pleased that he agrees with our push for economic growth through an ambitious Local Plan.
“We’ve taken the tough decision to allocate 1.8 per cent of draft green belt land for development in order to meet the needs of our rapidly growing city and deliver key developments such as York Central, and to deliver jobs, homes and protect York’s unique built environment for future generations.”
In total, 20 employment sites have been indentified for future development in York over the lifespan of the new plan, including York’s City Centre, York Central and Monks Cross.
Linking housing and employment growth is a critical step-change in the new plan and is supported by technical work undertaken which forecast that building 1,090 homes per annum would accommodate a population growth of 40,000 people over the next 15-years.
Cllr Tracey Simpson-laing, Cabinet Member Health, Housing and Adult Social Services, said: “We need to unblock York’s house building market and address the lack of affordable housing. Whilst ambitious, the proposals will respond directly to calls for this from residents and the third sector. We are committed to building a fair and inclusive city and the Local Plan needs to be an absolute reflection of that.”
With this in mind, the proposals seek to address York’s housing needs, including the development of private, rented and affordable housing and in total 62 sites have been indentified for housing across the city over the next 15-years.
A number of these sites were identified through a comprehensive six week ‘Call for Sites’ exercise, which was carried out in late 2012. This sought potential sites from developers, landowners, agents and the public and alongside others previously indentified from the 2008 ‘Call for Sites’, resulted in over 600 sites submitted.
In order to continue maximising the delivery of housing, ambitious targets have been proposed in the plan to build between 1,090 – 1,250 new homes per annum by the year 2030, delivering over 20,000 dwellings during the plan period.
Two large sites have been indentified for potential new settlements, including Holme Hill (South-East of York), which has potential for 5,580 new homes over the next 25-years; and Clifton Gate (North of Clifton Moor), which has potential for 4,020 new homes over the next 25-years.
Feedback from businesses and key employers on creating and growing the economy whilst protecting York’s heritage were fed into the preferred options paper, following a series of workshops last autumn with internationally renowned speakers from Friends of the Earth and the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust.
To ensure York’s boundaries are protected well beyond the lifespan of the plan, the council is proposing to create – for the first time in York’s history – a permanent Green Belt to protect the city’s boundaries.
In order to manage development pressures and need for housing and employment growth, pockets of land will be excluded from the Green Belt for longer term development need – referred to as ‘safeguarded land’, as per the National Planning Policy Framework.
Significant evidence work was undertaken prior to the draft Local Plan options paper and potential sites for development to address and protect York’s heritage and conservation, open spaces and taking into account flood risk areas.
Cllr Dave Merrett said: “This is a pivotal step for York, ensuring we have the first adopted Local Plan since 1956. The Local Plan will meet Government’s new planning guidance and provide much needed more sustainable homes. Importantly, it 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.”
To find out more visit www.york.gov.uk/localplan.
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