Previously, a wander on the equinox brought us to the Duncombe Barracks site on Burton Stone Lane. The light was fading then, so I revisited a couple of days later.
I’ve written about this site before, in 2018, when the city council was thinking about buying the land, which it later did. A planning application was later submitted, and approved in March last year.
In recent weeks, in preparation for the housing development here, the site has been cleared of the vegetation that had grown up in recent years, as well as some of the longer-established trees and hedges on the boundaries. It’s now easier, with the clearer view from the street, to appreciate the size of the site and see how it sits in context with neighbouring buildings.
This is I think one of the most interesting development sites in York. A few reasons for this:
- It’s going to be housing – including affordable housing, and we need more of that
- It’s not just ‘bog-standard’ housing, but part of what is ‘arguably the UK’s most ambitious council-led housing programme in a generation’, according to an article in the Guardian
- It’s right next to another interesting development site, the Bootham Crescent football ground
- It’s in a popular and well-connected location, close to local amenities
- On a personal level – I live close to this site, and have done for 25 years, so feel I know it well, and care about its future. Also it’s not far to walk to have a look at any developments taking place …
A few photos then, all taken from the front of the site, on Burton Stone Lane.
There are a few of the old barracks buildings on the site, on two of its boundaries, including a small block of houses that never looked occupied. These will all be demolished in due course.
There’s still a Duncombe Barracks, on a smaller site, to the side of this part of the site that was sold.
The church of St Luke’s is next door, on the other side.
The planned development is designed to be set back on this corner.
‘the removal of the existing building allows the creation of a community garden in front of the west end of St. Luke’s Church, which directly engages the site with Burton Stone Lane and the wider community, and gives the church greater status in the street.’
(Committee report, 30 March 2021)
The adjacent Bootham Crescent football ground is now disused and demolition and development work will presumably start there soon. The top of the David Longhurst stand, at the Shipton Street end of the ground, can be seen in the distance, behind the remaining barracks buildings.
The red painted corrugated iron is the back of the Popular Stand.
The site clearance removed a few mature trees, with some of the stumps visible on the far boundary.
When I first moved into the area 25 years ago there was a line of handsome mature trees along there. Two were felled in years past, a few were left when the council bought this part of the site. After the recent clearance work one now remains of the original line. Always sad to see trees removed, but in this particular case probably justifiable to facilitate this particular development.
This is just one site in what is seen as an ambitious building programme by City of York council. (This article gives more context and detail.) The plans for the site have received a fair amount of media coverage, including most recently Senior councillor defends building £500k homes on York council land.
Some of the housing on this site is to be sold on the open market. The Press article quotes the council’s director of economy, regeneration and housing, Tracey Carter:
“We are unapologetic in the fact that the open market sales are subsidising the quality and the volume of affordable housing that we’re able to deliver.”
This area is apparently a ‘highly sought after location’, according to estate agents, who often also mention proximity to two of the region’s leading independent schools (St Peter’s and Bootham). It’s close to many shops, and a local primary school.
It’s also not far from the city centre. And from here, the Minster is visible on the horizon.
(Whether the Minster towers will still be visible when the football ground is built on, I’m not sure.)
Apparently there were no objections to the planning application (ref 20/01902/FULM) when it was open for comment on the planning portal. Which seems highly unusual. So presumably everyone is feeling generally positive about the housing soon to be built here? Comments welcome below, dear readers. Ko-fi coffees also welcome, to power perusal of various other plans and changes, as we work our way towards the city centre. (Library lawn next …)