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Agenda item

Main meeting 7-8:30pm

·        Introductions

·        Updates on developments in the ward – Lincoln Court, Centre of Excellence for Disabled Children, Lowfields and Newbury Avenue

·        Ward budget update including ward capital and Housing Environment Improvement Programme

·        Local partners update

·        Have your say

Minutes:

1.    WELCOME AND INTRODUCIONS

The meeting was chaired by Cllr Waller who welcomed everyone and set out the agenda.  He also confirmed that the Police had been invited to the meeting (but were unable to attend). 

 

2.    UPDATES ON DEVELOPMENTS IN THE WARD

A presentation was given by Carolyn Vaughan- Downes, William Shaw and Sophie Round which included sight of a plan of three proposed developments in the area.

 

Lincoln Court

Lincoln Court provides sheltered housing for residents and the discussion centred on the creation of 15 new-build apartments and the refurbishment of 20 existing ones including improvements to the communal lounge, laundry area and creating a guest suite to enable visitors to stay. 

 

Centre of Excellence for Disabled Children

The Centre of Excellence development has been designed to provide additional support and provide better outcomes for children with disabilities and their families across York (including short break provision).  It is based at the site of the former Windsor House and will also use some of the land used for Hob Moor Oaks School.

 

Both projects should take approximately one year and the same contractor is being used in order to mitigate the impact on the local community.  A web page is also being created and the contractor will provide regular updates on progress as well as a contact link.

 

A recent issue raised by residents relates to concerns about the impact of increased traffic (particularly in light of narrow residential roads near the development) and Cllr Waller confirmed that a recent ‘walkabout’ had been very useful in highlighting potential problems.

 

Lowfield Green Site

The Lowfield Green development is a collaboration between City of York Council and YorSpace which comprises mixed tenure residential housing, bungalows, flats, self-build plots and a proposed 80 bedded care home (the latter of which is currently out to tender). The development is a two year programme which should be completed by 2021.

 

There have been slight delays due to service providers (including the current diversion of a main sewer by Yorkshire Water).  The issue of surface water has also been raised with Yorkshire Water as a concern.

 

Cllr Waller acknowledged that all three developments were overlapping which has resulted in some disruption to residents.  He also made it clear that certain alterations (i.e. relating to electricity charging points and housing improvements) have recently been made due to pressure from ward councillors.  

 

At this point, the meeting was open for questions.

 

Question:  A resident asked for an update on the self-build area.

 

Answer – Sophie Round confirmed that although there were no firm plans as yet she would provide the resident with the YorSpace details.

 

Question:  A resident wanted an update on the current parking plan (including provision for visitors).

 

Answer:  Sophie Round acknowledged that parking is a key issue with residents and that there would be opportunities for further discussion in future meetings.  Currently, the development aims to provide:

 

1-2 bedroom properties - 1 parking space

3+ bedroom properties – 2 parking spaces

 

The provision of additional spaces for visitors has also been considered.  Parking spaces will be at the side (as opposed to the front) of the properties to improve the aesthetic appearance of the development.  A public services hub will be designated for site parking. 

 

Question:  A resident queried whether commercial vehicles (i.e. bin lorries) would be able to access the development.

 

Answer:  Sophie Round gave assurance that there would be enough room for commercial vehicles to get through.

 

Question:  A resident asked which area was going to be developed first.

 

Answer:   Sophie Round confirmed that the bungalows and apartments would be built first followed by the larger houses.

 

Question:  A resident asked whether there would be suitable provision for cyclists and those with mobility scooters.

 

Answer:  Sophie Round confirmed that the aim was to be as cycle friendly as possible (and sympathetic to those with mobility scooters) and that bollards were currently the favoured option (particularly as inappropriate use of mopeds is a frequent issue raised by residents).

 

 

3.    WARD BUDGET UPDATE

Cllr Waller discussed current ward priorities which include improving the local environment and taking pride in Westfield, improving activities for young people and reducing isolation.

 

A resident pointed out that lack of activities also impacts on families as well as young people and Cllr Waller confirmed that he would take that into consideration.

 

Cllr Waller went on to outline recently completed projects in the locality which include parking provision on:

 

Bramham Avenue

Thorseby Road

Bachelor Hill

Danesfort Avenue

Windsor Garth

 

He also stated that the housing improvement programme had become intensely bureaucratic and proposed another ‘walkabout’ in early August 2019.

 

Cllr Waller then read out a statement from the CYC Streetworks about the post fibre optic cabling reinstatement works in the ward.

 

TalkTalk / FNS have  been installing the fibre optic network as part of the roll out across York. This will provide a greater connectivity for the businesses and residents of York.

 

As with any major project disruption will be encountered, CYC Streetworks have worked to reduce this and have tried to keep  disruption to a minimum.

 

During the installation TT/ FNS have been working to the NRSWA 1991 and the codes of practice within. When non conformities have been identified these have been raised regularly with TT / FNS and these will continue to be raised for the remainder of the build.

 

TT/FNS under NRSWA must provide a 2 year guarantee period on all of the works they have completed. Again where defects are found during  anytime within this period TT/FNS are challenged and they are instructed at their own cost  to rectify defects. No cost for repairs will ever be passed to tax payers of York.

 

A programme of remedial work for Westfield / Dringhouses area is being undertaken and TT have been asked to provide this information for CYC.

 

Regular progress meetings are held between CYC and TT/ FNS , the most recent was Monday 1st July 2019 were a verbal commitment was given to CYC by the  TalkTalk Build managers  that completing the remedial work would be honoured as part of the build. This has also been recorded in the minutes of that meeting.

 

We know that finalising the repairs is one of the things that causes residents most concern.  From the Chief Executive down the Council has been using its powers to encourage TT to accelerate the programme of remedial repairs.  If sanctions prove necessary then the council will use them.’’

 

4.    LOCAL PARTNERS UPDATE

 

Two representatives from Acomb and Westfield Neighbourhood Forum gave a presentation about the role of the Forum within the local community.  They began by citing the Localism Act 2011 which provides an opportunity for neighbourhoods to have a role in local planning in order to shape the future and have a say in their communities.  They also confirmed that they had formally applied to City of York Council to establish the Forum which is free to join.  It also has its own designated website:

www.acombwestfieldforum.org.uk

 

The first meeting was in September 2017 and included a discussion of the social, economic and environmental well-being of the community.  Initially, the emphasis was focussed on protecting the historic part of Acomb village.  However, there was a real sense that by focusing on the historic area, other local residents may feel excluded.  Consequently, a wider area was agreed incorporating both Acomb and Westfield. 

 

The Forum is growing all the time and welcomes new members (some of whom signed up during the recent West Bank Park Summer Fair on 30/06/2019).  There are currently 125 members who live or work within the Acomb and Westfield wards boundaries.   A steering committee meets regularly with a chance for members to vote in a referendum about key issues in the future.  Currently, the Forum is focussing on key issues where planning can really make a difference.  There is also a local history project underway with university students looking at the history and heritage of the two wards.

 

Cllr Hunter queried whether there was a breakdown of where members of the Forum resided and was informed that there was an even distribution in terms of locality as well as a diversity of age across both wards.

 

 

5.    HAVE YOUR SAY

No further questions were forthcoming.

 

The meeting ended at 19:45hrs.

 

Supporting documents:

 

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