Most people in York are employed, are well educated, live in good quality housing and report being in good health. However, there are exceptions. There is one area in York that is within the most deprived 10% of areas in England and another 7 that are in the most deprived 20% of areas in England. Life for people from these areas can be quite different.
City of York Council has developed a citywide plan which aims to support the city’s economic growth, address the shortage of housing and help shape future development over the next 15 years and beyond (York’s Local Plan). The draft Local Plan proposes 22,000 new homes including development of green belt sites (York Press, November 2013). Sixty-two sites have been identified across the city to address York’s housing needs including the development of private, rented and affordable housing with twenty employment sites identified for future development in York including the City Centre, York Central and Monks Cross.
Construction continues at the Oakgate scheme, beside the new Community Stadium, at Monks Cross with large retailers opening for business in spring 2014. Development of the brownfield ‘teardrop’ site next to York railway station has also recently been announced, this being the largest brown field site in Western Europe, which will commence in 2015 and include over 1,000 houses.
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 (York’s Local Plan).
Significant housing developments continue within the City of York with several proposals submitted including detailed plans for the second stage of the £130 million Hungate project, including 195 homes and space for shops, restaurants and bars. The 720-home scheme may not be finished until 2024.
There are also proposals for 187 apartments on the now demolished Barbican swimming pool’s car park (York Press, July 2013) and detailed plans for 104 homes to be built at Strensall, next to the Common which is a site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Conservation area (York Press, October 2013).
Proposals specifically targeting the expanding student population are prevalent with plans for more than 350 student flats and apartments on the site of the Press offices in Walmgate (York Press, May 2013), 221 student flats on Lawrence Street (York Press, October 2013), 326 student flats in Layerthorpe (York Press, November 2013). York St John University are soon to purchase a new 258 bedroomed accommodation block in Hungate. (York Press, November 2013)
Proposals for a three-stage development of Askham Bryan College have been referred to the Government for approval. The expansion would allow almost 1,600 extra students to be based at the site by 2017/18. If approved, the scheme’s first phase, costing £6 million, would see the animal management centre built with the aim of opening it in September 2014. This would be followed by a £9.5 million stage including the equine centre, quad roof and farm improvements. The expansion would see student numbers rise to about 4,500 (York Press, December 2013).
City of York Council has recently been granted planning permission to expand the number of pitches on Osbaldwick Traveller Site from 12 to 18 as well as creating a children’s play area and grazing for horses.
The Independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) has announced that four York wards are to be merged into two with the Fulford and Heslington wards and Osbaldwick and Derwent wards to be combined. Copmanthorpe is to become a new ward. (York Press, November 2013).
York is to be the home of a permanent Army division under a major reorganisation of the UK’s national and international military bases. Some army divisions based in Germany Division will move to York in 2015. A small increase in the number of military personnel in York is expected as troops are repatriated from Germany over the next few years (York Press, March 2013).