800 houses development - land to the south of Rose Cottage Farm and the Lodge, Moor Lane, Haxby - the council's objections

Earlier this year Haxby Town Council submitted the following objections to City of York Council.


Re: Application 23/00160/OUTM – Land to the South of Rose Cottage Farm and the Lodge, Moor Lane, Haxby. Outline application with all matters reserved except for access for circa 800 dwellings, provision of open space, flood storage measures, landscaping and associated infrastructure.

Haxby Town Council objects to the proposal for the reasons outlined below:

  1. Inappropriate development in the Green Belt

Until the Local Plan is formally adopted, the land outlined on the application is within the Green Belt.

The National Planning Policy Framework section 138 d) states that the Green Belt serves “to preserve the setting and special character of historic towns.” The development will impact on the historic core of Haxby particularly through increased traffic and associated pollution.

The National Planning Policy Framework section 138 b) states that the Green Belt serves “to prevent neighbouring towns merging into one another.” The development does not include sufficient consideration to providing open space, including posing significant concerns about failure to allow for additional cemetery space and adequate recreational facilities.

The National Planning Policy Frameworks section 147 states that “Inappropriate development is, by definition, harmful to the Green Belt and should not be approved except in very special circumstances.”

Haxby Town Council is not satisfied that special circumstances have been provided to demonstrate that building on the Green Belt is not harmful and should be permitted as an exception. Therefore, it opposes the development as harmful to the town, its environs, and its historic core.

  1. Lack of Consultation

Haxby Town Council does not consider that the level of consultation has been commensurate with a development of this size. There has not been a significant demonstrable effort to engage with the community, on whom there would be significant impact in the medium and long-term if the development were to go ahead.

For example, the Town’s Annual Parish Meeting was held on 14th March 2023 but the developer’s  declined an invitation to attend the meeting This would have been an opportunity to discuss the proposals directly with local residents and public representatives.

  1. Cemetery Space

The development has not allowed for sufficient growth potential in the allocation of cemetery space. This oversight is of serious concern to Haxby Town Council.

In September 2017, the City of York’s Burial Ground and Cemeteries Report advised that the capacity of the cemetery, at the rate of 60 burials a year, had a remaining 15 year capacity were it to have no more land available for future expansion.

In March 2023, according to this report, the cemetery can anticipate just over 10 years capacity remaining.

In addition, the proposed development would increase the local population. An increase in population can be reasonably expected to add to increase the total number of interments requested per annum. In so doing it could be reasonably expected that the projected timescale for the cemetery to be at capacity will reduce, making an existing situation worse.

The proposed plans take away the possibility of increasing land available to meet both current demand, and additional demand resulting from using the land for housing development.

The National Planning Policy Framework 93 (c) states that planning policies and decisions should “guard against the unnecessary loss of valued facilities and services, particularly where this would reduce the community’s ability to meet its day-to-day needs.”

Haxby Town Council considers that a decision in favour of the development would lead to the loss of a required service by increasing its demand whilst taking away the possibility to meet that demand. It would therefore be against the National Planning Policy Framework and its intention to promote healthy and safe communities.

  1. Planning and Housing Design

Haxby Town Council is concerned at the number of houses that the proposed development would cram into the available space. It is also noted that the maps provided with the plans are misleading. The proposed number of houses is 800, but this is not what is depicted on the plans.

The National Planning Policy Framework 92 b) asserts that plans should promote safe and accessible spaces. It specifically mentions “the fear of crime” as a consideration. Community cohesion and quality of life should include quality public spaces with “clear and legible pedestrian and cycle routes” is given as an example.

Haxby Town Council considers that safety of the designed space should have higher priority than is evident. Amongst considerations are accessibility, and the surveillance of play areas and footpaths.

It is also noted that the plans indicate show homes being placed at the front of the development, with affordable homes slotted behind and with insufficient spatial considerations.

The housing designs should show a high standard of environmental sustainability. This should be demonstrable and available for consideration.

  1. Open Space Provision

At the time of writing, the City of York Local Plan has finished its consultation period but has not yet been formally adopted.

It is noted that Section SS11 of this draft plan includes the following comment on open space in Haxby:

It is essential that the site delivers a significant amount of new open space to provide access and provision for both existing residents of Haxby and also the new residents of the development. The new open space shown on the Policies map is required to address the significant shortage of open space in the Haxby and Wigginton ward which is the most deficient ward in the city with a shortage across all open space typologies. The open space needs of the area should be assessed in detail, liaising with Haxby Town Council and Wigginton Parish Council.”

Haxby Town Council does not consider that the needs of open space requirements, as laid out in the draft Local Plan, have been properly assessed. Nor does it consider that sufficient liaison with Haxby Town Council has taken place.

The City of York has acknowledged that Haxby is under-provisioned in open spaces. Approval of this development would exacerbate this under-provision, and would be in conflict with the recommendations put in the draft of the Local plan.

  1. Transport Networks

Haxby Town Council is not satisfied that the proposed development has given enough consideration to the impact that the increased volume of traffic will have on the town of Haxby.

The plan’s documentation downplays the impact of traffic. For example, whilst the development may be accessible to the town centre, walking distance does not factor in the decisions residents may take when considering returning home with heavy shopping bags.

The Neighbourhood Plan being produced for Haxby and Wigginton has identified transport routes and provision of bus routes as an area that requires consideration. Most residents on the proposed development would be over 400 meters away from the nearest bus stop. There is the potential that this will have a negative impact on potential bus use, and that road users will seek the alternative of a more convenient car journey instead of using public transport.

No cycle lanes or off-site cycle links are included in the plans. The National Planning Policy Framework 92 c) refers to access to layouts that encourage walking and cycling as examples of planning provision that enables and supports healthy lifestyles, and thus achieves the aim of the ‘promoting health and safe communities’ part of the framework.

Section 104 of the National Planning Policy Framework stresses that “transport issues should be considered from the earliest stages of plan-making and development proposals”, and this includes identifying opportunities to promote walking, cycling and public transport.”

Haxby Town Council does not consider that there has been a sufficient identification of opportunities to promote cycling or provide viable public transport routes.

The inevitable increase of traffic along the Village and Mill Lane will affect the historic core of the town. To return to the Town Council’s objections concerning the Green Belt, it is noted that the National Planning Policy Framework section 138 d) states that the Green Belt serves “to preserve the setting and special character of historic towns.” The development will not preserve the historic character of the town, and it is unrealistic to rely on walking distance as a preventative to the impact of increased traffic upon it.

Health and safety is a key consideration. The positioning of Haxby Railway Station will draw increased traffic through the town. As well as a likely increase of congestion, traffic drawn to this route will pass a care home and a school, creating a road safety concern, and a health issue from increased air pollution.  An air quality assessment should be undertaken given the increase in housing percentage and the likely impact on air pollution levels.   

 Ingress and egress needs to be suitable for the size of the development. Haxby Town Council is concerned that this is not the case with the plans as proposed, and considers that this should be addressed - a third way out of the development should be incorporated into the plans.

  1. Disruption from Construction Traffic

The length of time that the construction of this site would likely require presents a problem within itself given the significant concern of disruption to the population of Haxby.

Increased numbers of HGVs on the transport network will impact on residents and the historic fabric of the town.

  1. Lack of Facilities

There is no provision for an educational facility in the plans. Schools capacity is already an issue in the area. This will be exacerbated by increasing the population and thus the need for educational facilities.

The walking route to the nearest Primary School is along a busy main road.

The lack of provision for healthcare facilities, with a significant increase in local population, can only be expected to put an additional strain on existing G.P services.

  1. Biodiversity

Haxby Town Council has a specific concern that insufficient consideration has been given to tthe impact of the development to the area’s biodiversity. Habitat and environmental assessments should be provided by the developer.

The plans do not sufficiently address the potential impact of the development on the amount of tree and hedgerow coverage in the area and the subsequent impact on wildlife, including the loss of habitats for birds

The site ranks as second in the York area for the number species of moths. Wiggington Parish Council has provided a information on this aspect of the site including reportage from the University of York’s Biology Department. Haxby Town Council supports Wiggington Parish in raising this as a serious concern and a cause for objection to the plans as presented.

. It is requested that an archeological assessment is provided as part of the development plans. Roman coins have been found on the site.

  1. Drainage and Sewage

Haxby Town Council is concerned that a significant development of housing as presented in the plans will exacerbate an existing problem without providing any effort to remedy it.

There are existing surface water levels and ground water run-off issues. The City of York published a Flood Investigation Report in 2018 that indicated that Haxby and Wiggington are heavily affected by surface water flooding. The report mentions minor road flooding, blockages of roads, flooded gardens, and even internal flooding to properties.

Maintenance of the existing drainage system is already problematic. The City of York published a Flood Investigation Report in 2018 that acknowledged that defects in the drainage system increased the likelihood of flooding in some locations, and that in some cases existing infrastructure was unable to cope.

Haxby Town Council notes that at the present time, the drains on Ethel Ward Playing Field are broken.

The development plans allow for discharge into sewers that have existing problems. The City of York’s Infrastructure Delivery Plan in June 2013 stated that, “there is no spare capacity at the Rawcliffe WWTW which serves Rawcliffe, Hungtington and Skelton, and very limited capacity at Haxby Walbutts WWTW which serves the Haxby and Strensall areas.”

Of additional concern, Risk Based Catchment Screening undertaken in 2019, show that Haxby Walbutts treatment works had the join third worst record out of 20 treatment works in York for pollution breaches.

Published: 19/12/2023 Published by: Haxby Town Council

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