A large new housing development is to be built on the western edge of York, ending a five-year planning wrangle.
Miller Homes will build 266 houses on the old Civil Service Sports Ground between Millfield Lane and Boroughbridge Road, near Manor CE School.
The company first tabled plans for the site in December 2014, but got fed up waiting for City of York Council to decide the application.
YorkMix revealed in June that the firm had applied to the national planning inspectorate to decide the case instead, and that body has now granted consent.
By the time the case came to a hearing, the council had indicated its support for the application but inspector Yvonne Wright said she still had to consider the case, not least due to some local concerns around the green belt.
Not green belt
Ms Wright assessed the plans against definitions of the green belt, the purpose of the green belt and other circumstances.
In her report, she wrote:
I have determined that the site does not serve any green belt purposes and therefore does not need to be kept permanently open for green belt reasons.
Furthermore, the provision of 266 market and affordable homes, to be delivered in the short to medium term, is a significant favourable factor.
The site was already earmarked for housing in York’s Local Plan, and the inspector said that as it is within the ring road and bounded by existing development, the impact on the green belt was lessened. 30% of the homes, which equates to 80 homes, will be designated as affordable housing.
The inspector said local residents had suggested that the development would put “unacceptable pressure” on local services and facilities, including schools and healthcare.
But she said: “There is no evidence that these facilities would not be able to cope with the level of development proposed.
“Indeed the appellant proposes to provide planning contributions towards the provision of some necessary facilities and local infrastructure, including schools, as part of a legal agreement.”
Work starts next year
A spokesperson for Miller Homes said:
We are pleased that our proposed development for land off Boroughbridge Road, York, has been approved on appeal.
Our plans were well considered and our development of high quality homes, including family homes, starter homes and affordable homes, will help reduce the housing shortfall within the city.
Work is estimated to start on site mid 2020.
A payment of £1.15 million will go towards funding 63 extra places at local primary schools, and £900,000 will go to Manor School to find an extra 36 places.
Payments will also be made for an improved pedestrian crossing on the A59, new traveller sites elsewhere, extra bus stops to increase bus frequency and service capacity, bus priority measures, bus passes and car club access.