Over 2,000 sign petition to halt green belt homes

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More than 2,000 people in York have signed a petition against development on green belt land in the city, the local Liberal Democrat party said.

At present public talks are under way on York’s Local Plan which will help shape future development over the next 15 years and beyond.

It proposes potential sites for 22,000 new homes, some on green belt land.

Coun Keith Aspden, Liberal Democrat group leader on York Council, said yesterday the city should be focusing on “maximising existing brownfield sites.”

Council leaders have said, however, there are not enough brownfield sites and the city needs more affordable homes.

The petition, launched by the Liberal Democrats and which calls for the green belt to be protected, has so far been signed by more than 2,000 residents. It can be found at www.yorklibdems.org.uk/saveourgreenbelt.

Coun James Alexander, the council’s Labour leader, has said the plan will mean the city will have a permanent defined green belt for the first time.

He earlier said: “The significance of what York’s Local Plan will deliver cannot be underestimated and, without a plan, recent changes in Government legislation would see uncontrolled development across the draft Green Belt.”

Coun Alexander says people are leaving York because “they can no longer afford to live in the city they were born and brought up in”.