The site of the battle of Fulford is under threat. If planning permission is granted, the landscape 90% of which has survived since 1066, will be irreparably damaged. (2003)
Since 1998, there has been a plan to build 600-800 houses on the site of the battle. The first study by the would-be developer, accepted that this was on the probable site of the battle and recommended more work be carried out to identify the battle site. No such work has been done. Only general archaeology has been carried out.
The latest version of the planning application dismisses this as the location, claiming that no evidence has been found even though they have not looked for any battle evidence. (Summary of correspondence.)
During the intervening years, the landowner, acting under instruction from the would-be developer Persimmon Homes (Yorkshire) Ltd, have refused to allow the research group to work on the site. (Happily, landowners surrounding the site have generally taken a more enlightened view.)
By denying access to investigate the site they are certainly frustrating our research. Their flawed vision is that absence of proof will be taken by the planners as proof of absence. You can read the largely one-way correspondence.
The application will soon come before the elected officers who will consider whether to grant outline planning permission. Because the potential developers have acted in such bad faith over the years, the City of York Council (COYC) will be asked to reject the application. (The planning meeting has been postponed again but please keep writing.)
Only by rejecting the application can any developer be forced to re-design their plan AFTER the proper investigations have been carried out. The potential developers have consistently failed to take advantage of the various deferments since 1999 to carry out the necessary work in spite of many appeals.
If you feel able to support the campaign to force a rethink, please:
Some minor modifications have been made to remove names and appearance of theses documents for use on the website.
The Battle of Fulford does not enjoy the limited protection afforded by English Heritage and the Register of Historic Battlefields.
English Heritage's failure to register the battle was misinterpreted in the planning application as evidence that the site is not important. English Heritage have written to the COYC to correct this error and asked the planners to accept this as the site.The battle cannot be registered until 'proof' of its location is uncovered and, sadly, ancient battle sites seldom yield proof. However, at Battle of Fulford, a mass of evidence has been uncovered and there is a strong possibility that the high levels of proof demanded can soon be met.
Chas Jones Dec 2004