Homes scheme runs into a fight

CRITICS of late changes to one of two major housing schemes described the conflict between developers and objectors as a "David and Goliath" situation as a major public inquiry began yesterday.

The two schemes would add a total of 1,200 new homes to the City of York.

Yesterday almost 100 objectors packed the city's Guildhall for the start of a hearing which is scheduled to last until July 21.

Persimmon Homes and Hogg Builders (York) want to build 700 houses at Germany Beck, east of Fordlands Road in Fulford.

Inquiry inspector David Cullingford is also considering a Rowntree Housing Trust application for 540 homes west of Metcalfe Lane at Osbaldwick. His report will be sent to Local Government Minister Ruth Kelly, who will decide whether the developments can proceed.

investment land

Opening the case on the Germany Beck site, Stephen Sauvain QC, described changes that had been made since York's planning committee agreed to grant permission.

They included revisions to the design of the junction with the A19 and the access with Fordlands Road.

There were also changes to a flood storage and nature reserve area, provision of a foul water pumping station to prevent sewage getting into the Fordlands Road estate in times of flood, a green corridor between parish land and Fulford Conservation Area and the proposed Germany Beck Natural Corridor to the south of the new homes, relocation of retail and community facilities into the centre of the site and further traffic calming measures.

Mr Sauvain said claims that the Battle of Fulford was fought on the site in 1066 were not proven and no evidence had been found.

"There can be no justification in refusing permission on the basis of an unproven and tenuous strConection with the Battle of Fulford."

Before the inquiry began, Fulford parish council's chairman, Stephen Kenwright, said residents were disgusted with the late changes and added: "The transport problem is insoluble because this green field site is not appropriate for a development of this scale.", 14.06.2006

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