Construction work has already started on the 368-room student accommodation on the site of what used to be Frederick House of Fulford Road in Fishergate Ward.
Speaking at the planning panel on Thursday 5th August, Councillor Andy D’Agorne criticised, “the cavalier approach to planning demonstrated by this application”
He said, “If the ward councillors had not called it in, local residents would have had no opportunity to question this abuse of process.
“A rubber stamped approval for all six blocks to increase in height would undoubtedly have gone through.”
Councillor D’Agorne also highlighted the inconsistencies in the planning process where the developers of the student blocks have been allowed to continue building to an amended design for 6 months, without a decision on this request to increase the height.
Councillor D’Agorne added, “Whilst all this is happening, 52 Broadway Coffee Shop, a small business in Fulford, has been threatened with enforcement action owner if they open windows or have more than two chairs and a table outside.
“Is it any wonder that people are so fed up with the planning process when small businesses are treated in such a heavy-handed way while large developers just act as they want without the fear of consequences.”
“This wasn’t just a minor change to what was agreed – there are some changes to the exterior and an increase to the height of some of the blocks when local residents were already worried about how high they were.”
The application for increased height was rejected by majority vote of the committee. The developer has the right to appeal this decision.