Local Development Framework
6. Local Development Framework
6.1 Martin Grainger introduced the Local Development Framework (LDF), using a slide presentation including the following points:
§ The LDF is a planning blueprint for the future of the city. The context is, having grown substantially in the last 150 years, York will continue to grow. Anticipated that in the next 20 years there will be an additional 50,000 people, making a total population of 245,000 with a requirement for an additional 850 homes (this is from the Regional Spatial Strategy for the Yorkshire and the Humber) and at least 1,000 jobs per year. Additional challenges are dealing with climate change and creating sustainable neighbourhoods and communities so York is not a “twin track” city
§ The LDF includes 4 key documents: Core Strategy, Allocations Document, City Centre Area Action Plan and North West York Action (including the so-called “tear drop” and former British Sugar site) Plan. Included in the vision for the first time are permanent green belt boundaries and the main urban area is the primary focus for development, including Hungate, Nestle South, Germany Beck and Derwenthorpe. Shortfall of land for 4,400 homes and new land for business means looking at areas outside the urban area, whilst keeping in mind a number of key constraints. These include: preserving York’s historic character and setting; protecting its green infrastructure; and minimising flood risk as well as taking into account transport, sustainability, agricultural land quality and open space.
§ Should York grow, certain areas are preferred for development, as shown in the leaflet distributed with Your Ward and Your City. This is a long term plan, so there may be sites that become available that we don’t yet know about.
§ We are hoping to allocate at least 30% to open spaces and facilities. The Strategic Policies are Design and Conservation; Affordable Housing; Gypsy and Traveller sites; Community Stadium; Plan for sustainable waste management; Reduce energy demand; BREEAM/sustainable design; Encourage public transport, walking and cycling; Green infrastructure; Maximise public space; Manage flood risk.
§ The current stage is an important one in the consultation process.
6.2 Residents asked the following questions
Q. Have you taken into consideration that Huntington and New Earswick are divided by the River Foss, that they are two separate entities?
A. Yes, this has been taken into account.
Q. Why has the Heslington and Fulford area not been designated?
A. There are constraints here, such as the Heslington Conservation Area. There is also the Heslington East development. It is not that Huntington is of no value. We are trying to make our approach as open and transparent as possible. Anyone who has a different view from that proposed is encouraged to respond to the consultation document.
C. The urban sprawl of Haxby / Wiggington contradicts the vision
A. Past plans have not provided the same steer. Get plan through to set a design that allows for a more sustainable future.
Q. Who designs the regional plan?
A. The Regional Assembly for the Yorkshire and Humber region together with central government. There is upward pressure on population growth. The 850 figure represents a policy of restraint from the Regional Assembly.
Q. What happens if the 850 figure is incorrect?
A. Developers will put in applications for 850 new homes anyway and go to the planning inspector, taking power away from themselves and giving it to the inspectors.
Q. People not living in Huntington and New Earswick will back sites here so that their own areas will be less affected.
A. We can factor this into the process by analysing post codes on the consultation form. There will also be further consultation and technical work carried out. The idea at the moment is for residents to let us know what they think and for us to respond to that.
Q. This is an idea that is potentially exciting. Are there any models for comparison elsewhere in Europe?
A. Yes. Cambridge for example. In Europe, similar cases can be found in the Netherlands, Montpelier in France and Freiberg in Germany. A very high degree of sustainability is factored into the British Sugar site and we will look at what works in York at the moment. CABE (Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment) has been quite complimentary.
Q. What about traffic congestion? The northern bypass will be at capacity when open.
A. We are taking an holistic approach. We need to look at and address quality of life issues. There will be an examination in summer 2010 of the deliverability of plans. A lot of work will go into looking at what we can deliver.
Q. Sustainability has frequently been referred to. What about affordability? What definition are you using for this?
A. Government definition is for 25% of household income to be spent on housing accommodation. Annually there is a need for 1200 new affordable homes, so this is greater than the general figure of 850 new homes. 70% of new homes need to be socially rented and low-cost home ownership. There is a need to maximise housing and to balance types of housing.
Q. In new development areas, will a range of housing be built?
A. There will be a mix of housing types. There is a need for housing older and young people, to reverse the proportion of apartments to houses and to create a mix of types, tenures and ages.
Q. Brockfield Park Drive. 50 Years ago, it was a nice place to live, now it is like a highway because of developments at Monks Cross. On-street car parking also a problem. Will it be possible to retro-fit?
A. We do not want to compromise existing communities. We will try to address issues like on-street parking and to improve existing areas and not just develop new ones.
Q. A lot of Huntington and New Earswick residents work in Leeds and Bradford. Will new residents work in York?
A. The plan includes sites to provide employment in York and the provision of public transport to provide a balanced approach.
Q. It is claimed that greenbelt land will not be needed until 2025. Is there a guarantee that this is the case?
A. There is enough land until 2021. We are taking a robust, strong approach, including developing on brownfield sites. York has not had a development plan since 1956. Once a plan is approved, developers wouldn’t be able to develop in advance of planned sites. We will then be in a strong position to stop developers bringing sites forward. We are looking to build a phased plan.
In addition to the Your Ward insert, information is available on the council’s website at www.york.gov.uk/LDF/corestrategy. Residents were encouraged to respond to the consultation document by the deadline date of Friday 28 August 2009.