The BHRCG was formed in 2010 to support our local community in meeting several challenges that were being faced as a result of the rapid expansion of the University of York. At a public enquiry in 2002 concerning planning permission for the Heslington East campus, all the issues that have been addressed (or are currently being addressed) by the BHRCG were largely disregarded by the University of York and the City of York Council.

Whilst the BHRCG welcomes the economic and social benefits of progress, the University of York’s expansion has placed considerable housing, parking and planning demands on local areas, which residents have responded to by forming a large and cohesive group that is capable of representing their perspective and interests. Our aim is to preserve and cultivate a balanced and sustainable community and to this end our officers and members work on a purely voluntary basis.

This page provides details of these issues and the steps the BHRCG has taken, or is in the process of taking, to deal with them. Where relevant, links to articles reported in the Press or the City of York’s website covering these issues are given.

Badger Hill Wombles

Please help us to keep Badger Hill free of litter following refuse collection days (Monday) and in our public areas. To report littering hot spots (including streets, properties with litter in gardens, litter around the shops, in the park or along Field Lane) please do not hesitate to contact the Council on 01904-551551 or email; with thanks to all those who help in this task. All residents should be aware that littering is an offence which can result in on-the-spot fines of £75.

Planning Issues – October 2015

Heslington East, which is adjacent to the Badger Hill Estate, is a £750 million project that has involved the building of several new colleges, accommodation blocks and departments that are too numerous to outline here in detail. The University of York’s website, however, provides a comprehensive summary of completed, current and future projects on both the East and West campuses:
Investing in our campus

Health centre and shopping complex on Heslington East

The most relevant planning issue to recently affect Badger Hill residents has been the proposal to build a new health centre and shopping complex adjacent to the Heslington East Campus roundabout on Field Lane. The aim is to provide enhanced healthcare facilities for University personnel as well as local residents, with a number of new retail outlets and shops being included to bolster financial support for the project.

Initial plans were outlined in 2014, as reported in the Press.

The proposal generated a large number of objections from the BHRCG, our local councillors and Badger Hill residents, principally on the following grounds:

City of York Council planning officers undertook consultation with local residents, students and other stakeholders, with a final recommendation being made to approve after referral to the Secretary of State. The Council’s Planning Committee subsequently voted to approve the plans by a majority of one. The Secretary of State indicated that this issue should be decided at local level and there would be no input at national level. The project will therefore go ahead in the near future.

Present major building works on Heslington East

Work has now started on the construction of a new building to the south of Langwith College to be named the Piazza Learning Centre, which will provide new facilities for students living and studying on Heslington East. It will include a 350-seat auditorium, over 30 learning spaces, a large flat-floor learning space, available for student activities and societies, a 350-seat restaurant, a large informal learning resource centre, a multi-use PC classroom. It will also be the administrative and teaching home for the new International Pathway College.

Parking Issues - October 2015

Following the CYC's parking survey and the submission of a petition by Badger Hill residents to a full Council meeting, a limited ‘Respark’ scheme to cover the East side of Badger Hill; Field Lane slip road, Low Mill Close, Deramore Drive, Yarburgh Way and other roads leading from these, has been introduced. This area is designated by the council as Zone 9. Three BHRCG Committee members attended the Council’s meetings and expressed concerns about the partial coverage of the scheme; they persuaded the Council to extend waiting restrictions to cover the period 8am-6pm (from the proposed 10am-2.00pm). The photo below shows the effect on Field Lane slip road (with similar positive impacts for other streets that are covered).

Parking problems fixed on Field Lane Service Road
For a comparison picture in May 2011 see here

The remainder of the estate and shops will continue to be monitored by the Council with further extensions across Badger Hill introduced as and when warranted. The cost of any required action falls on the university.

The university is obliged to carry out on-street parking surveys in 13 neighbouring zones each year to assess the contribution of university generated traffic to this issue. The 2013 survey indicated an increase of 100% in the university generated component in Zone 8, which is the western side of Badger Hill. An increase of this size indicates that action is required, but by resorting to single street numbers in a recount this action was avoided. The BHRCG pointed out that the Inspector who conducted the Public Inquiry insisted that street level sampling was to small (hence the zones) but this fell on deaf ears and no action was taken. The 2014 on-street figures have not been revealed but the university and the council maintain that no action is required.

We will keep residents informed of further developments and encourage everyone to report their concerns regarding problem areas to the Committee, the Council and our Councillors (see contacts page).

Cars parked illegally in any of our Respark areas can be reported to the Council's enforcement officers who are known to be prompt in paying visits to issue tickets if necessary. They can be contacted on their hotline number 7 days a week (0800 1381119):
Further details on Respark enforcement are available on the CYC's website:
Respark enforcement

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)- Article 4 Direction - May 2013

The Council’s Article 4 Direction came into force on 20th April 2012. This direction means that planning permission is now required to change a single family dwellinghouse to a small HMO of between 3 and 6 tenants. Along with the Article 4 Direction, the Council also published a supplementary planning document (SPD) on controlling the number of HMOs in an area. This SPD is used to assess any new planning applications for a change of use from a family home to a dwellinghouse to an HMO. The SPD states that new HMOs are unlikely to gain planning permission if there are more than 10% existing HMOs within 100 metres or more than 20% existing HMOs in the neighbourhood. To complicate matters further, planning permission is also required if you wish to change a house from a small HMO (3 to 6 people) to a large HMO of more than 6 people.

Tim Goodall | Planning Enforcement Officer

A summary of the A4D for York can be found on the CYC website at: A4D CYC summary
Please refer to the Links page for our coucillors' contact details.
For suspected breaches of A4D planning regulations on Badger Hill, residents are able to ask the planning enforcement officers at CYC to investigate.  Further information and contact numbers/E-mail addresses are available at the following link:  CYC Planning Enforcement

HMOs on Badger Hill - June 2011

HMOs on Badger Hill

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) - May 2011

In November 2010 the BHRCG surveyed owner-occupiers regarding the rapid growth of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) on Badger Hill due to the enormous expansion of the University of York, which has occurred without proportionate increases in on-campus accommodation. While local residents stress their respect and consideration for the right of students to study and enjoy their time at the University of York, and acknowledge the many benefits the University brings to the area, the consequences of such rapid expansion cannot be ignored by those who are being affected. The results of the survey are shown below in Figure 1.

Graph showing the BHRCG HMO Survey main results

162 owner-occupiers completed the survey. 97% felt they had been adversely affected by HMOs on Badger Hill, 60% had made complaints, 98% supported the adoption, by the City of York Council (CYC), of an Article 4 Direction (A4D), and 82% said they would consider individual or collective action to gain compensation if they suffered a financial or health loss as a result of HMOs in Badger Hill.

The results of this survey were submitted to the City of York Council in May 2011.

It should be stressed that the experiences of HMOs by Badger Hill residents are not unique as A4Ds have been introduced in a number of university towns, such as Manchester, Oxford, Leeds and Portsmouth. Their aim is to provide councils with a means of ensuring communities are able to retain the balance and character of their neighbourhoods by placing planning controls on all HMOs.

For a clear and concise statement of what an Article 4 Direction is please click on the following link Article 4 Direction

At a meeting of the Local Development Framework Working Group (LDFWG) on the 10th January, 2011, representatives from the BHRCG and Osbaldwick Parish Council presented their evidence in support of a city-wide A4D.  In view of a large evidence-base that the Council’s City Strategy Department compiled, and cross-party consensus on the LDFWG, the group unanimously voted in favour and this has now also been approved by the City of York’s Executive, with a 12-month notice period being issued on 15th April, 2011.

Newsletter 1 contains all the details of the HMO survey, which can be downloaded in PDF format here

This means that, subject to confirmation, on the 15th April 2012, planning permission will have to be granted by the Council for family homes to be converted into HMOs. The work of the BHRCG therefore made a difference. The Council will now explore methods of assessing acceptable concentration levels of HMOs in York communities and how the A4D will be managed. The BHRCG will be making further contributions to the implementation process to achieve the balance and sustainability of life on Badger Hill.

Parking - May 2011

Parking problems on Field Lane Service Road

An on-street parking survey conducted in November, 2010, by the University of York showed that the number of parked vehicles on the eastern side of Badger Hill has increased by more than 20% since the opening of the Heslington East campus. Remedial action is required, so the university has made a recommendation to the City of York Council that a residents-only parking scheme be introduced on the Field Lane slip road, Low Mill Close, Deramore Drive (part of) Badger Wood Walk, Pinewood Hill, Yarburgh Way (part of) Foxthorn Paddock and Hesketh Bank.

The BHRCG Committee has also made a case for including all of Yarburgh Way and a further stretch of Deramore Drive in the scheme. The costs of the scheme will be met entirely by the university and residents will not be expected to make any payment.

The Committee has pointed out to City of York Council and the university that when the restrictions come into force parking will simply move to the western side of Badger Hill and on to Field Lane. It would, therefore, be sensible to introduce the res-park scheme to the whole of Badger Hill in the first instance rather than waiting for a future survey to show the required 20% increase on the western side.

If the Council accepts the recommendation there will have to be a period of consultation before the scheme can be introduced. Please note that if there is a street-by-street vote please make sure that every member in each household casts a vote (not just a single vote per residence).

Newsletter 2 contains all the details of the parking issue and a map of Badger Hill, which can be downloaded in PDF format here

Following the CYC's recent parking survey of Badger Hill residents it has been decided to introduce a limited scheme to cover the Field Lane slip road, Low Mill Close and Deramore Drive down to the junction of Yarburgh Way. The remainder of the estate and shops will continue to be monitored by the Council with further extensions across Badger Hill introduced as and when warranted. Three BHRCG Committee members attended the Council meeting and expressed concerns about the partial coverage of the scheme, but did persuade the Council to extend waiting restrictions to 8am-6pm (from 10am-2.00pm). The scheme will be introduced before the new academic year begins. We will keep residents informed of further developments.

Power and Heat Unit - May 2011

Without adequate consultation with the local community as a whole, the University of York has received planning permission from City of York Council for the construction of a heat and power unit on the south side of Kimberlow Hill, i.e. next to the new campus car park and bus stops.

A graphic of the proposed plant is shown below:

Universities proposed power and heat unit

This is only about 300 metres away from Badger Hill. The building will be 50 metres long and is likely to be extended in the future.

In response to this six residents of the Badger Hill Residents Community Group gathered in St Leonard’s Place to hand the 139-signature petition to City of York Council chief executive, Kersten England. In a covering letter it was explained that many residents felt that there had been insufficient consultation with the people of Badger Hill before the biomass generator plan was approved. The petition also raised questions over the safety of the relatively new technology, which uses woodchip to create a gas suitable to use as fuel.

The aim of the petition was to ensure the plant is moved further away from a residential area. A spokesman for the University of York said the plans were kept under review and the final form of the plant has not been decided. The BHRCG await a formal response from the Council.