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29 July 2001

Dear Cllr Merritt

Re Germany Beck development

I sat quietly at the back during Thursday's meeting of your committee and was encouraged by what I heard.  I was the author of the paper about the location of the battle of Fulford mentioned in the brief. I should also report that I had a meeting with Persimmon and their consultants in April in an attempt to encourage them to relocate their access road. They promised me a copy of their desk study which arrived just before the meeting. Having read it, I believe that they cannot claim as they imply in their application say that the battle site location is unknown. The real question is what protection we are going to give this very special battle.

I had previously written to English Heritage Battlefield Register today to seek their advice and have written again about the extra investigation work mentioned in the brief which I will pass on to the officers when I receive it. If Fulford was promoted to the elite group of battles on the Register, the fate of the site would still be vested in your committee.

There were several issues raised at the meeting. I believe they would be address if the access road was re-routed:

  1. The first houses would not have the continued disturbance if access came from the south and went to the site centre. No area would be on the through road.
  2. If access into the site went almost directly to the ring road it would send an unambiguous message about the Council's policy on using public transport for this development. 
  3. It is hard to see how the access road can be built without disrupting the vital role of Germany Beck as a land drain from the site. The elevation of the A19 to become part of a barrage plus a pumping station to drain the Beck, which was mentioned as a solution, would do irreparable damage to the battle site. Such costly solutions might be appropriate for the City Centre but must be considered unacceptable for any new development which must avoid the flood areas.
  4. The cost and disruption to those using the A19 for access was raised. Relocating the access road to join at the roundabout would produce minimal disruption to the traffic flow. 
  5. The risk to the Council if the proposed junction causes a tailback to the ring road was raised. I attach a copy of a letter written to the Planning Officers after I had shown the plans to some engineers. My fear is that the initial damage would be compounded as the junction was repeatedly upgraded.
  6. Access to the Fordlands Road community and the Cemetery, which I notice was the subject of correspondence in York Evening Press recently, would not be disturbed. Perhaps their access could be dealt with as part of the development of the battlefield as an amenity!

I am also concerned that the various traffic studies mentioned at the meeting will focus on this single route rather than examining bolder alternatives such as a link towards the ring road. Is it possible to ask that an enquiry look at this possibility?

Taking a much longer view, if there is any risk that this site will be extended by future generations, the existing access route will be inadequate and a new route will then be required. Indeed, the construction of a new road to the south might open new prospects in that area to the benefit of developers and the City.

It might be interesting to investigate the income potential and jobs that might be created if the site was to be developed, not at the access to the estate but as another attraction for visitors. I would be very happy to contribute my ideas.

Yours sincerely

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The author of the content is Charles Jones - fulfordthing@gmail.com   Last updated April 2015

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