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When Size Isn't Everything: Premature Development in York Central

Gregory Jones QC

The proposal was for the redevelopment of a petrol filling station and garage for 24 flats. The site was situated within "York Central" - an area identified in the third set of changes to the York City Local Plan as an Action Area for large scale comprehensive development. Although by comparison to the whole of the York Central the appeal site was small the inspector found that that the location within York Central area was critical. He concluded that:

"...the construction of a block of flats at this stage would constitute an incongruous neighbour to the museum site [National Railway Museum] and that it would be an element of piece meal development presenting an obstacle to the proper planning of the area in any future comprehensive development...this would be a relatively poor environment for location of housing development, and in that sense it would go clearly against the objectives of identifying optimum locations for the various proposed land-uses."

The decision letter is of interest because the inspector upheld the council's prematurity argument notwithstanding that the council did not have an adopted development plan and the preparation of the LDF was an early stage.

Gregory Jones (instructed by Suzan Hemingway of York City Council) acted for the local planning authority For Further details contact or