‘Save our green spaces’ – Residents protest at sell-off plan

Residents and councillors gather on the open space near Walmgate Bar which could be sold off. Photograph: York Green Party
15 Oct 2017 @ 7.40 pm
| Environment

Public open spaces within York’s city walls are few and far between – and should be protected.

That was the message from residents on Sunday (October 15) as they protested against plans to sell off one of the few green spaces in their neighbourhood.

City of York Council proposes to sell the former Willow House older person’s home site near Walmgate Bar to Empiric plc. It plans to build 126 student flats there – and the area of green open space is included in the sale offer.

The council papers say that Empiric’s proposal will include ‘some development’ on the land fronting Walmgate.

Look at the bigger picture

The area in question. Map: City of York Council

Members of the newly-formed Walmgate Community Association were joined by Guildhall ward councillors to show their opposition to the plan.

Green councillor Denise Craghill said: “This land has been unfenced and functioned as open space for local residents for a long time.

“As more and more developments are built in the urban areas the council should look at the bigger picture and protect green open space for inner city residents.”

Labour councillor James Flinders agreed. “If this land is sold and then built on, it could negatively affect views of Walmgate Bar.

“We should be protecting and improving green spaces in the city centre, rather than selling them off.”

At a packed inaugural meeting for the community association on Thursday residents agreed that the open space makes an important contribution to the local area and should be protected.