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Public consultation – new affordable and accessible homes, Sim Balk Lane

Gateway Developments and Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust have launched a public consultation over plans for a range of new and affordable homes on land off Sim Balk Lane.

The proposals include around 114 homes, of which 100% will be ‘affordable’, helping to meet York’s significant local need for new and affordable homes. With around 1,218 households on the City of York housing register in 2022, there is significant requirement for housing to meet that need, as well as provide additional affordable homes for purchase.

The scheme includes a range of accessible bungalows, designed primarily for people living with disabilities. This scheme would meet an identified local need for accessible accommodation.

You can also review the public consultation materials which were shared at the drop-in exhibition by clicking here.

We want to hear from the local community about the proposals. You can have your say by completing our online survey.

The site

The proposed development site is a parcel of land located off Sim Balk Lane in York, nearby to York College.

The site is in a sustainable location, nearby to the Askham Bar Park & Ride and wider bus stop network, as well as the large Tesco supermarket and bus and cycling links into the city centre.

The site is located in the greenbelt, but the developer believes the overwhelming benefits of providing affordable and accessible homes outweigh any potential impact on the field.

Aerial photograph of the site
Maps Data: Google, ©2024 CNES / Airbus, Getmapping plc, Infoterra Ltd & Bluesky, Maxar Technologies

The proposal

Gateway Development and Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust (JRHT) are proposing a scheme of 114 affordable homes on land off Sim Balk Lane in York. These proposals would deliver much-needed affordable homes to help with York’s identified housing need of 573 affordable dwellings per year (City of York Council SHMA).

The proposals include:

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Around 114 new homes – all affordable for local people with a range of 1, 2, 3 and 4-bedroom properties

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Accessible bungalows – the plans include a range of accessible bungalows, designed primarily for people living with disabilities. This scheme would meet an identified local need for accessible accommodation

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Open space – several pieces of land have been identified as public open space which can be used by the local community

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A new vehicle and pedestrian access via Sim Balk Lane

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A programme of landscaping is included such as tree and shrub planting/retention




What is defined as affordable housing?

Affordable housing refers to homes which are priced at a level which is generally considered ‘affordable’ in a local area. This cost is based on the average house price locally, so numbers are only confirmed at the time the homes become available. An affordable home is however generally considered less expensive than similar properties on the market nearby.

Affordable homes include a range of ownership options including ‘shared ownership’ where a percentage of a property can be bought, paying a mortgage on the share the person owns and partially rent to a housing association. Affordable homes can also include homes which are fully rented from a housing association, in this case Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust (JRHT).

For this development on Sim Balk Lane, around 60% of the homes would be for social rent managed by JRHT, and around 40% shared ownership where buyers can purchase a share in a home ranging from 10% to 75% with the remaining share rented from JRHT.

Does York need more housing?

Yes, the York Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) of 2016 is expected to be updated soon.  The 2016 document shows an affordable housing need figure of 573 dwellings per annum.

In terms of gross annual affordable housing completions City of York Council’s website shows that between 2012/2013 and 2020/2021 only 903 completions. This falls well short of the annual figure of 573 to address current need, equating to just 1.6 years provision over a 9-year period.

The City of York Council’s Housing Services has advised that there is a figure of 1,218 households on the housing register, with an assessed housing need at the last point this was reported in 2022.  It is understood that whilst this figure fluctuates, the figure of 1,218 is representative of the typical level.

These statistics show that York has a significant local housing need, and this is not being met currently. Approving planning applications such as the proposed homes on Sim Balk Lane will contribute to that growing need.

What about potential increased traffic because of the development?

All new housing developments will generate some traffic, so it is important to ensure that this does not place a significant new pressure on local roads. Initial analysis indicates that new homes at this site will not generate a significant impact on local roads. This will be further analysed ahead of a planning application being submitted.

A full Transport Assessment is being prepared as part of the planning application and this will review traffic numbers at peak times. The Transport Assessment will be reviewed by the City of York Council as part of the application process.

How will you manage potential impact on local services/GPs/schools etc?

We will discuss with City of York Council any potential impact on local services and will agree a suitable plan to ensure the development does not place any significant strain.

This development has the potential to help alleviate some pressure on City of York Council’s housing register and for people living with accessibility challenges.


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