York Green Party

York's Local Plan: one and a half Germany Becks each year

1 May 2013

Green Group Leader Andy D'Agorne was speaking at the special Cabinet meeting on the Local Plan. He warned that a local plan being driven by housing targets without regard for impacts on infrastructure or sustainability was a recipe for increasing congestion and pollution.

He said: "Exemplar sustainability must be at the heart of all new developments. York has its own carbon reduction targets in line with the Climate Change Act – as a city affected by flooding we have a clear interest in playing our part."

In 2009 buildings accounted for 43% of all UK carbon emissions. Yet the Council's proposed policy CC21 allows developers to avoid minimum sustainability standards if they can argue that it is 'not feasible or viable' to adhere to them.

"Identifying township sites outside the ring road without modern rapid transit systems linking them to the city is inevitably going to generate massive growth in private car travel. When this administration can't even retain a cycle lane in the face of pressure for more roadspace, what prospect is there for bus and cycle lanes through Heslington and Fulford to give priority to sustainable transport in the face of all the extra traffic that will be generated?"

Cllr D'Agorne compared York's target to limit the growth in car transport to 7% with that of Brighton Council to reduce car use by 10%-20%. He also pointed out that the housebuilding figures (provided by Arup) were based on projections of high anticipated growth - the same sort of guesswork undertaken by the Chancellor and the Office for Budgetary Responsibility which has been quite consistently wrong.

"We need to boost local businesses and create a steady supply of new housing that is in line with the infrastructure and employment we can secure in York not fanciful ideas of building one and a half Germany Becks every year!"



1 - Policy CC2 appears on page 216 of the Local Plan "Preferred Options" document available at http://www.york.gov.uk/downloads/200396/planning_policy (Annex A Part 2).

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