Village Design/Neighbourhood Plan

Railway signal box and rail crossingThe Village Design Statement has been published and hard copies are available from the Parish Council Office.  A digital version is also available –  Village Design Statement

This is a professional document and the working group must be congratulated for their input which has now reached its conclusion.


A loose leafed booklet containing eight different walks around the village has been produced by former Councillor Ralph Plant and is priced at £2.50.  Each page is laminated and can be taken separately on each walk.  The diagrams and art work show the route and what wildlife may be found on each walk.   The Parish Council are grateful for the assistance given by the Local History Group.  The booklet is available from the Parish Council office during opening hours.


Following the Local Authority Approval of the Strensall Village Design Statement on 3rd March 2015, further discussions between Parish Councillors took place and at the 14th July 2015 meeting it was agreed that a steering group be formed to compile a Neighbourhood Plan for Strensall with Towthorpe Parish (SwT).

The inaugural meeting took place on 25th August 2015 with four Parish Councillors and arrangements were made for a letter to be sent from the Parish Council to City of York Council (CoYC) to commence the procedure to designate the whole of the parish as the designated area covered by the Strensall with Towthorpe Neighbourhood Plan (NP). The NP area was agreed by CoYC on 6th January 206.

During the remainder of 2015 consultation with the local community was discussed which resulted in the first public consultation took place in February 2016.

The steering group interviewed planning consultants to provide assistance with the NP and Katherine Jukes, together with Mike Dando, of Directions Planning was appointed.

In early 2016 a questionnaire was hand delivered to residents and businesses in the parish and the results provided a basis to start development of the NP. Following the announcement on 7th November 2016 by the Ministry of Defence that Queen Elizabeth Barracks at Strensall and Towthorpe Lines would close with the land earmarked for housing and business development.

The Steering Group were concerned about the effect of the developments on traffic levels between Strensall and the A1237 at Earswick. Consultation with Earswick Parish Council and Stockton on the Forest Parish Council resulted in a revision to the NP area to add the whole of Towthorpe Moor Lane and the junction with the A64. This amendment to the NP area was to provide a better route to the major highways once the planned doubling of the A64 was completed. This was agreed by CoYC on 14th June 2018.

CoYC submitted their Local Plan to the Planning Inspectorate in May 2018.

CoYC advised SwT Parish Council that a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and a Habitat Regulation Assessment (HRA) was required due to concerns  from organisations, including Natural England, about the effect development of the Ministry of Defence sites would have on Strensall Common which is classified as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Special Area of Conservation (SAC). These assessments took place during Summer 2018 and concluded that leisure activity on Strensall Common would increase by an unacceptable level of 24% if the development went ahead. CoYC withdrew the housing development site at Queen Elizabeth Barracks from the submitted Local Plan

Further amendments to the content of the NP were agreed with CoYC to ensure the NP was still in concert with the Local Plan. A Regulation 14 consultation was undertaken between 1st July and 26th August 2019 to this pre-submission version of the NP.

After over 4 years of concentrated effort by the steering group the NP was checked by the steering group in February 2020 and was considered ready for submission.

The coronavirus pandemic brought about changes in working practices to the holding of meetings but the NP was agreed as ready for submission by SwT Parish Council on 8th June 2021. Members of the Steering Group communicated by email or telephone to address and necessary alterations to the NP.

The NP was finally submitted to CoYC for examination by a Planning Inspector on 16th June 2021.

At the request of the Steering Group and their consultants Rosemary Kidd (MRTPI) was appointed to examine the NP and the process commenced on 5th April 2022.

With further interruptions due to the pandemic the examiner’s report was submitted to CoYC on 13the October 2022.

CoYC arranged for the report to be studied by the Local Plan Working Group on 6th March 2023 and it was agreed that the NP together with the Examiner’s report be passed to the Executive. The Executive decided that a referendum of electors in Strensall with Towthorpe Parish be held on 4th May 2023 with a question as under:

Do you want City of York Council to use the neighbourhood plan for Strensall with Towthorpe to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?

The results of the referendum was 82.5% of electors taking part in the referendum were in favour of accepting the NP with 17.5% against on a 33% turnout.

CoYC Executive discussed the referendum result at their meeting on 15th June 2023 and a unanimous decision to “make” the NP was agreed.

From that date the NP is a document to be taken into account by planning officers when planning applications located within the NP area are decided”.

Neighbourhood Plan