York City Council
6 January 2002
Dear Chief Exec,
Planning 'offsets' for the Germany Beck proposed development
I am taking a close interest in the development known as Germany Beck and have already spoken with the developers, many of your officers and recently addressed the Consultative Committee set up by the Planning Committee at their meeting on 23rd July. My concern is the protection of the site of the Battle of Fulford through which the site access road will be built if the plan goes ahead un-amended.
From my talks with the developers they feel that they have incurred significant costs in what they refer to as 'offsets'. My understanding, as a layperson, is that these are works that will either be undertaken or paid for by the developer for the benefit of the community. I would be grateful if you could tell me:
If I had this information, I would be in a better position to understand why the developer cannot afford the cost of an access route that would avoid the battle site. I would also like to check that a piece of our local and national heritage can be bartered within any existing rules.
There is another related, small matter with which you might be able to help me. Your officers, in particular Derek Gauld and John Oxley, have been generous with their time and information for which I am very grateful. So far, it has been an excellent example of open government. However, I am having great difficulty in discovering what traffic surveys have been used to justify the claims in the planning application that Fulford Road can absorb the anticipated traffic generated by the proposed scheme. If you could ask someone to identify the information and let me see it as a matter of some urgency, I would be very grateful. I think the meeting to discuss the implications of the traffic is on 23rd January.
A speedy reply with the information requested would therefore be appreciated.
11 January 2002
Dear Chief Exec,
'offsets' for the Germany Beck proposed development
Thank you for your prompt reply including the terms of
reference for the consultative group. It is unfortunate that the focus is
exclusively on local consultation when my work was singled out in the July
Planning Committee report as one reason for consultation excluding me from this
Thank you also for your action on the reports. If I could
have a look at the reports you list I would be very happy. I have, however, in
the meantime sent a letter to Cllr Brighton asking that the whole list of
references mentioned in the traffic section of the planning application be made
available. A copy is attached.
However, the key issue in my letter was about the financial
'offsets'. The developers tell me that they will incur significant costs for
works that will either be undertaken or paid for by them for the benefit of the
community. I would like to see a list of these arrangements and their costs plus
the rules under which these arrangements are made. I inspected the public
documents again yesterday (Thursday) at the Council offices just in case I had
missed such a list.
If I had this information, I would be in a better position to
understand why the developer cannot afford the cost of an access route that
would avoid the battle site.
The data requested was never disclosed
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