Chief Executive

York City Council

6 January 2002

Dear Chief Exec,

Planning 'offsets' for the Germany Beck proposed development

I am taking a close interest in the development known as Germany Beck and have already spoken with the developers, many of your officers and recently addressed the Consultative Committee set up by the Planning Committee at their meeting on 23rd July. My concern is the protection of the site of the Battle of Fulford through which the site access road will be built if the plan goes ahead un-amended.

From my talks with the developers they feel that they have incurred significant costs in what they refer to as 'offsets'. My understanding, as a layperson, is that these are works that will either be undertaken or paid for by the developer for the benefit of the community. I would be grateful if you could tell me:

If I had this information, I would be in a better position to understand why the developer cannot afford the cost of an access route that would avoid the battle site. I would also like to check that a piece of our local and national heritage can be bartered within any existing rules.

There is another related, small matter with which you might be able to help me. Your officers, in particular Derek Gauld and John Oxley, have been generous with their time and information for which I am very grateful. So far, it has been an excellent example of open government. However, I am having great difficulty in discovering what traffic surveys have been used to justify the claims in the planning application that Fulford Road can absorb the anticipated traffic generated by the proposed scheme. If you could ask someone to identify the information and let me see it as a matter of some urgency, I would be very grateful. I think the meeting to discuss the implications of the traffic is on 23rd January.

A speedy reply with the information requested would therefore be appreciated.

Yours sincerely,