A few extracts from the draft Local Plan Preferred Options main document (first doc on this list). Points which particularly stood out. Numbers as in original document. Bold emphasis mine. My comments added in [square brackets].
2.36 Flatted development [I think this means new flats/apartments] has grown its share of the total stock profile [I think this means that most of our recent housing is apartments], as a result of new development over the period 2003 to 2011. The need for houses rather than flats was a key factor in the planning approvals of housing schemes at Germany Beck and Derwenthorpe in 2007. The Annual Monitoring Report 2010/11 (2011) identified the housing in mix in York to be 61% flats to 39% houses (based on completions), whereas for need the balance needs to be the opposite way round.
Well, there’s a surprise. Nice to see it so openly declared though. I think even the non-expert could see that there were too many small apartments being built. But this was based on forecasts by experts, presumably.
So it obviously begs the question, how reliable are the predictions of need for the next decade/20 years? Should the green belt be built on when forecasters got it so wrong before? Just asking. I’m not an expert. Do tell me if I’ve misinterpreted this but I read it as ‘We built a load of stuff we don’t really need, oops that was wrong, let’s try again based on our next forecast and see if that works out any better.’
2.7 … There have also been significant increases in the proportion of 15-19 year olds (17.8% increase) and 20-24
year olds (39.1% increase) since 2001. This reflects that there are two successful and expanding universities located in the city.
[That’s a massive increase, isn’t it, in the 20-24 age group? And the Local Plan is clearly designed to appeal in particular to younger voters — sorry, younger people — and it does. The university educated ones. Have no idea what the other younger people of this city think about the Local Plan. Does anyone know?]
2.8 … the most deprived pockets of deprivation can be identified in the Westfield, Clifton and Hull Road Wards and
include areas such as Tang Hall, Kingsway North and Foxwood which fall within the top 20% most deprived areas in England.
[speaks for itself]
2.58 … The ten-year period 1991 –2001 saw a rise in commuting trips of approximately 65%. Future development in the city to meet housing need and its economic potential is likely to continue, and possibly accelerate, this trend.
2.59 … The effect of this growth in York will be to impose further demands on its already highly constrained transport network to take it beyond its current capacity and, potentially, its capacity in the future.
2.62 … even with all the reasonably practicable and deliverable transport investment in place, it is predicted that congestion delay across the network could be approaching double its current level by 2026 and could rise to over two-and-a-quarter times over its current level by 2031.
[So, we’re pressing for massive growth, but it will be hell on the roads around and into York. Even more than it is now.]
3.15 The Local Plan will provide accessible and varied opportunities for leisure and recreational activities in order to promote healthy lifestyles, including ensuring all residents living within the main built up areas of York have access to a range of recreational open spaces and sports facilities and safe walking and cycling routes too them.
16.17 … it is often the cumulative impacts of small changes over time which can erode the special qualities and significance of a place.
Indeed. Has already happened in many ways. Every generation has seen the loss of special qualities, but also improvements and new energy. The small changes are natural growth and progress. This is an entirely different thing, isn’t it, this vast, complex masterplan.
How to comment
There’s a load of information at york.gov.uk/localplan, including a form for comment here. Thankfully it’s just big open accommodating text boxes rather than one of those tedious ‘how satisfied are you, from 1 to 10′ formats. Or email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You might want to say that you don’t feel enough information was made available for long enough for residents to make informed comment?