21 July 2017
Green councillor Andy D'Agorne has criticised Deputy Council Leader Cllr Aspden's opposition to the allocation of land at the Designer Outlet for business use, saying that the Conservative and Lib Dem administration is failing to defend employment use of the Imphal Barracks site if the MoD go ahead with closing the army base in 2033.
Cllr D'Agorne questioned officers at the recent Executive meeting as to why the Barracks site was being considered for housing rather than employment allocation in the Local Plan and was told it was simply because that was the preference of the land owner to see nearly 800 new homes on the site, to add to the 655 already planned for the nearby Germany Beck site.
Cllr D'Agorne is also critical of the Local Plan process saying that sustainable transport implications should be considered much earlier rather than being led by developers' willingness to identify sites.
" Linking up the proposed 'garden village' near Elvington to the University, Germany Beck and the Barracks could provide a viable basis for a dedicated bus or tram route with linked walking and cycling routes"
"But that requires bold, longer term strategic thinking, which York seems to be incapable of considering" said Andy.
Cllr D'Agorne suggests that the Oakgates Group proposals for a business park have as much validity as other aspects of the draft Local Plan as they could help to fund a free Park 'n'Ride link to the city centre for workers, in the same way that TSYS employees (lcoated at Fulford Rd) are currently encouraged to use the existing Park 'n' Ride service.
Cllr D'Agorne also said that Fulford Parish Council could do more to tackle existing air quality problems (cited as a reason by the opposition to decline the business park proposal).
"Cllr Aspden is right to highlight air quality issues in Fulford which are made worse by congestion as drivers of buses and HGVs struggle to get past all-day parking allowed on both sides of Main St. This needs addressing to speed up bus travel but also to increase safety and encourage more to cycle to work, school or college."