City of York, Duncombe Barracks and Burnholme

City of York, Duncombe Barracks and Burnholme



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Entry type:

Number/street name:
Duncombe Barracks / Burnholme

Address line 2:
Burton Stone Lane / Mossdale Avenue


YO30 6BY

Mikhail Riches

Architect contact number:
020 7608 1505

City of York Council.

Planning Authority:
City of York Council

Planning consultant:

Planning Reference:
Duncombe Barracks: 20/01902/FULM. Burnholme: 20/01916/OUTM

Date of Completion:

Schedule of Accommodation:
Duncombe Barracks: 11 x 1b/2p Flats , 8 x 2b/4p Houses, 9 x 3b/5p Houses , 6 x 4b/7p houses Burnholme: 10 x 1b/2p Flats , 35 x 2b/4p Houses, 22 x 3b/5p Houses , 11 x 4b/7p houses , 5 Self-Build Plots

Tenure Mix:
Duncombe Barracks: Social Rent 20% Shared Ownership 20% Private 60 %. Burnholme: Social Rent 20% Shared Ownership 20% Private 60 %

Total number of homes:
Duncombe Barracks: 34 Burnholme: 83

Site size (hectares):
Duncombe Barracks: 0.66ha. Burnholme: 1.77ha.

Net Density (homes per hectare):

Size of principal unit (sq m):

Smallest Unit (sq m):
Duncombe Barracks: 57.5 sqm. (1b/2p). Burnholme: 54.3 sqm (1b/2p).

Largest unit (sq m):
Duncombe Barracks: 140.5 sqm (4b/7p). Burnholme: 152.2 sqm (4b/7p)

No of parking spaces:
Duncombe Barracks: 19. Burnholme: 74.

Scheme PDF Download

Planning History

The City of York has commissioned both schemes themselves. They come with big ambitions, targeting Operational Net Zero Carbon, to raise the bar locally and nationally. They developed the excellent ‘Housing Delivery Programme Design Manual’, which sets out the principles for their own development. ‘The Housing Delivery Programme has the potential to deliver a wide reaching positive legacy for the city which further builds on the city’s rich history as a housing pioneer’ Duncombe Barracks and Burnholme went through three Pre-applications before being submitted in October 2020. Both Duncombe Barracks and Burnholme were approved in 2021.

The Design Process

Duncombe Barracks, located North of the city centre in a predominantly residential area, includes 34 new homes ranging from 1 bedroom 2 person flats to larger 4 bedroom 7 person family houses, with public open space as well as secure shared gardens.

Burnholme located to the east of the city centre includes 85 new homes, including 5 self-build plots, ranging from 1 bedroom 2 person flats to larger 4 bedroom 7 person family houses, with public open space, community gardens.

Biodiversity has played a large part in how we developed our community spaces. Our schemes provide a range of amenity spaces for residents to enjoy. The projects engage with the wider community, providing new pedestrian and cycle connections through their neighbourhoods. At Duncombe Barracks the design facilitates a new public amenity space for the local community in front of St. Luke’s Church.

A shared community landscape sits at the heart of both schemes, providing a safe place for children to play and people to meet. The landscaping delivers a child friendly neighbourhood with the provision of designated and interstitial play spaces.

Although on-street parking is provided, both developments utilise shared surfaces to prioritise people over vehicles. Burnholme is arranged with traffic calming measures as a single loop accessed from Mossdale Avenue & Bad Bargain Lane. Duncombe keeps parking to the minimum requirements with 19 parking spaces provided across the scheme and located to the rear of the site.

Both scheme have been developed to maximise the benefits of Passivhaus principles. Homes are arranged in terraces and orientated to the south sun, making highly engineered ‘Passivhaus’ standard homes which are economically viable to deliver and run.

The developments will be Net Zero Carbon in Operation as the development will generate as much energy as used by the homes.

Choose a few key elements you want to promote

A local authority showing the way, striving to change ambitions locally.

Building on Goldsmith St, these homes are not only passivhaus but Net Zero

An unusual procurement, sees York using one multi disciplinary design team, led by Mikhail Riches across multiple sites, to help deliver consistency.

A low-rise gentle density of approximately 50 homes/hectare, with a focus on social as well as environmental sustainability

For example, children's safe access to play, meaningful and varied landscape spaces, prioritising pedestrians, abundant cycle storage; all help to make a great place to live, and to help you get to know your neighbours.

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Scheme Information


  • Courtyard House
  • Back to Backs
  • Multi-Aspect Apartments
  • Innovative House Types
  • Terrace


  • High density
  • Medium density


  • Affordable
  • Council
  • Private Ownership
  • Shared Ownership
  • Mixed Tenure


  • Community Consultation
  • Urban Regeneration


  • Brickwork
  • Contemporary Design
  • Local Vernacular
  • Modern methods
  • Off-site


  • Low Carbon
  • Low Energy
  • Sustainable
  • Passivhaus/ Passive House

Outdoor areas

  • Roof Terrace
  • Biodiversity
  • Garden

Surrounding Area

  • Healthy Streets
  • Landscape
  • Communal Spaces
  • Community Buildings
  • Play Spaces
  • POS
  • Public open space


  • Special Needs Housing
  • Wheelchair
  • Community


City of York declared a climate emergency in March 2019, shortly after, its newly formed Housing Delivery Programme released the tender for their new house building programme. The Council’s ambitions have been clear from the outset: new homes in York are to create beautiful, healthy, sustainable homes and neighbourhoods, building on and extending the legacy of York’s rich history of pioneering house building. Duncombe Barracks transforms a complex brownfield site. A fabric first approach that close the performance gap and truly reduces energy demand. A number of different strategies were considered for heating and hot water, including ASHP, ground source heating pumps and solar thermal electric. Combined with PV’s for on-site energy generation, offsetting the site wide energy consumption with the roof orientation and pitch. The mixed tenure developments encourage reduced car use, cycling, neighbourly relationships and communal food growing. Situated within a wider regeneration project on the site of the old Burnholme Community College centred around Health and Wellbeing. The new development proposes a range of homes and landscapes for Heworth’s existing residents which promote community, sustainability and accessibility. Burnholme looks beyond the site boundary and takes opportunities to better connect people to local facilities by strengthening routes to open space, play opportunities and existing community assets. Design to promote walking, cycling, play. Similar to strategies adopted at Duncombe Barracks, Burnholme looks to generate the energy it consumes through the use of photovoltaics located on the south facing roofs of all terraces. ASHPs heat both the homes and hot water which alongside the energy generation reduces resident fuel bills. Both Duncombe Barracks and Burnholme are also undergoing an embodied Energy study. A measure of the embodied carbon for both schemes prior to construction looks to ensure that the targets set out in the 2030 RIBA climate challenge are met.