School expansion threatens York green used by children

Fulford Cross residents with Cllr D'Agorne

Residents fear a patch of land in front of their homes could be fenced off or turned into a car park when the school that owns the green is taken over by an academy trust.

Fulford councillor Andy D’Agorne has launched a petition calling for the council to protect a triangle of land at Fulford Cross, which is owned by Danesgate Community Pupil Referral Unit.

He said the centre is set to become part of South York Multi Academy Trust in September and residents are worried about the future of the land – which they tried to register as a village green 10 years ago.

Cllr D’Agorne said:

  • It has become a play area and kickabout space for the children that live in the houses but technically it belongs to the site of the school.

    There are concerns it could be roped off. Residents fear it could be fenced off or turned into a car park.

    I have been quite keen to highlight the responsibilities that go with maintaining this education land.

Anxious about future

He is calling for residents to be able to have a say in what happens at the site before a decision is made and asked if the council would formally adopt the highway around the green.

Cllr D’Agorne added: “More than a decade ago, residents made an unsuccessful attempt to register the area as a village green – at the time the only objection to this came from the council’s property department, so it is understandable for residents to be anxious about its future.”

Mark Ellis, head of school services at City of York Council, said:

  • Danesgate is proposing to convert to an academy in the next few months and detailed discussions are currently taking place with the South York Multi Academy Trust.

    “Issues covered in those discussions include land-ownership. These talks are at an early stage and no decisions have been reached as yet.

Fulford School is the founding member of South York Multi Academy Trust, which also includes Dunnington CE Primary School, Wheldrake with Thorganby CE Primary School and Archbishop of York’s CE Junior School.