Local Labour councillors and activists have been listening to the residents of Fifth Avenue in Tang Hall who are determined to have their voices heard and listened to by City of York Council Planning Committee regarding the fifth phase of development on the Derwenthorpe Estate. This follows a well attended public meeting organised by the three current Labour candidates for the Heworth ward, Bob Webb, Anna Perrett and Claire Douglas.
While all are agreed that the development by the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust is providing much needed new homes in the city, there are concerns from the locals over the disruptions being caused while the work goes ahead. Particular concern has been raised over the safety of children at St. Aelred’s School, where due to a lack of traditional pavements, children are being forced to walk in the road to get into the building. Currently works traffic is prohibited from travelling on the road during school drop off and pick up times, however representatives of the school say that the restriction is often not followed by the developer David Wilson Homes and their suppliers. Additional cars on the road coming in and out of the Derwenthorpe estate are not subject to the same restrictions.
Other issues raised by residents include significant damage to the Fifth Avenue road surface, unsafe traffic levels and behaviour of drivers, damage to residents’ driveways, flooding caused by drains clogged with construction debris and dust and dirt covering the area, including in residents’ houses. At the public meeting, residents strongly expressed their desire that the damage, road safety issues and disruption should stop and repairs should be carried out. They are calling for the works traffic to move to and from the site by a different route for the Fifth Phase of development and give Fifth Avenue a break.
Speaking about the issue, Dafydd Williams, Labour councillor for Heworth, said: “While almost everyone accepts there is a housing need in York and the Derwenthorpe estate is answering this need, the last eight years of construction has caused a living nightmare for the residents of Fifth Avenue and surrounding areas and the prospect of further development without effective mitigation is a move too far.”