Approve more houses for lower income residents in York

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There is a running joke amongst York residents, that when a new residential development is started "it'll be either luxury flats or student accommodation."

And the official figures back the joke up. A freedom of information request to City of York Council has revealed during the period 1st April 2012 to 20th September 2017 the following details have been calculated for York Central:

All Housing Units with Planning Approval 4365*
Flats (excluding student accommodation schemes) 2316
Students Accommodation 1458
Town Houses (excluding student accommodation schemes) 421
Affordable Housing 256

In percentages, that breaks down as:

Flats (excluding student accommodation schemes) 53.6%
Students Accommodation 33.4%
Town Houses (excluding student accommodation schemes) 9.64%
Affordable Housing 5.86%

The Council does not track the difference between flats and luxury flats, but we have seen most of the new and newly approved developments such as St. Leonard's Place, Stonebow House, Groves Chapel and Ryedale House earmarked as luxury flats- pricing out the Cities medium and low earners.

Students are more catered for in York than a low to medium income earner wanting a house to start a family with 1/3 of all accommodation in a 5 year period approved for student use.

We hereby call on City of York Council to change it's planning permission procedures, making applications for planning permission to build/ convert luxury flats or student accommodation harder to encourage property developers to instead focus on more housing for low to medium earners, who make up a much larger proportion of the population than the luxury flat market. Rents and house prices in York are amongst the highest in the North of England, and the Council needs to address this by fixing the mix of accommodation approved.


*The housing mix on application 15/01709/OUTM at the Hungate Development Site has not yet been determined for Blocks G & H, therefore, an additional 41 Units have approval though the mix is not known (though likely to be flats).

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