Whinthorpe village plan sparks concern

We have three visitor attractions that would be affected by the plan.
We have three visitor attractions that would be affected by the plan.

Elvington Parish Council has delivered its damning verdict on the proposed Whinthorpe garden village which is part of the York’s draft Local Plan.

The new village, which would see more than 3,339 homes built on the existing Elvington Airfield, is just one part of the extensive plan.

Members of the parish council believe that the planned village is the right type of project to cope with the growing housing demand but in the wrong place.

The Yorkshire Wildlife Trust has also voiced reservations about the massive development, which is the size of a small town.

The council, which met last week to discuss the issue, said the garden village would have a negative impact on the three tourism attractions near Elvington.

The plan ‘would spell the end of Elvington Airfield, which has seen many land speed record attempts, while the Air Museum and York Maze attractions would be adversely affected’.

Ian Bailey, chairman of Elvington Parish Council, said: “We welcome the fact that there is a Local Plan and that York Council is trying to tackle the question of housing demand.

“We are also supportive of the idea that there should be one major development rather than lots of small in-fill in all the villages around York.

“The question is the location of that development.

“We are strongly against the location that’s proposed at Elvington Airfield.

“We have three visitor attractions that would be affected by the plan.

“It seems completely wrong to close the airfield entirely. It would also hit the Air Museum which would lose the use of the runway. The Museum would be hemmed in by two industrial estates and two residential areas, which is not good for the venue at all.

“The York Maze attraction would be hit by the new road rom Grimston Bar.

“We are also concerned that there are no infrastructure proposals in any detail, and while it is accepted that in the development there will be things like schools, shops, GP surgeries and dentists and so on, we need some information about the access points.

“We are particularly concerned about the impact on Elvington village. We simply can’t have any more traffic on the main street, it is too busy as it is.

“We will be asking York to look again at the location of this development and re-site it where it was originally planned which is very close to Grimston Bar and the A64.

“The land is available, it would mean the access roads are much sorter and far less intrusive to the rural communities.

“It would also be consistent with of York’s policy of building villages around the ring road.”

Sara Robin, conservation planning officer at the Yorkshire Wildlife trust, said: “Following a preliminary review of the draft Local Plan, our initial opinion is that the proposed Whinthorpe development still has the potential to impact on wildlife and biodiversity in the area.

“The new development would lead to a loss of wildlife habitat, particularly on Elvington Airfield.

However the trust does welcome the provision of a large area of new habitat for wildlife close to the Tilmire Special Site of Scientific Interest.

“Any final comment we submit over the coming weeks will be fully informed by site visits and consultation with colleagues and experts.”