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Over £100k wasted if York housing scheme scrapped by LibDems

Scrapping a planned housing scheme in the west of York would cost the local taxpayer in excess of £100k should it be permanently shelved.
 
Following requests by Westfield Lib Dem Councillor and Executive Member Andrew Waller, the Executive took the decision to halt the Newbury Avenue housing scheme back in June, saying further consultation was needed.  This was despite the fact that consultation had already taken place as part of the planning process, and changes made to the scheme following consultation with local residents.
 
Labour’s housing spokesperson, Coun. Barbara Boyce said:
 
“From all of the evidence I have seen, the stopping of this scheme appears to be a decision to placate Lib Dem Westfield councillor Andrew Waller for political reasons rather than for any sound planning reasons.  The scheme received very few objections during the planning application process, and senior officer opinion is that there was not a high level of community objection to the development, conflicting with Andrew Waller’s opinion that there is.
 
“Officers have gone to great lengths, making changes to the scheme following concerns by one opponent who is now supportive of the scheme. It is now clear that the Lib Dems are going against public opinion by opposing the scheme.  They talk of listening to residents, but override public opinion when it doesn’t suit their party line”.
 
“A freedom of information request shows that well in excess of £100,000 will be wasted if this scheme is scrapped, and still significant public money wasted if it goes ahead on a smaller scale. This is a gross waste of public money by the Coalition Executive, and it seems Lib Dems are well prepared to place local political objectives before the city’s affordable housing need, which is a very worrying development”.
 
The council’s waiting list in July for one and two bed properties was 822 and 543 respectively, the type of properties planned for Newbury Avenue.

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