York local plan delays ‘could threaten city’s economy’ say business leaders

Business leaders have criticised delays to York's local plan
Business leaders have criticised delays to York's local plan
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BUSINESS leaders have warned that further delays to York’s controversial local plan could damage the city’s economy.

The authority has laid out plans to make land available for around 20,000 new homes to be built by 2030 as part of a local plan setting out where development will take place.

However, following a defection and two other members becoming independents, the ruling Labour group is now outnumbered by the opposition parties who have signalled they will push for major changes to the proposals.

Eamonn Keogh, chairman of the York and North Yorkshire chamber of commerce property forum, said: “We can promote our skilled workforce and strengths in science and technology, but these will be overshadowed by a cautious attitude to development and a lack of employment sites, housing and new infrastructure without a local plan in place. Successful cities are open to change and it is clear that York has to build on its successes as opposed to stand still and admire what is now. The lack of a coherent strategy for the future development and growth of the city creates uncertainty that will deter inward investors and inhibit the growth of the economy at a time when it is vital to attract inward investment to maintain growth which is vital to the continued prosperity of the city.”

Council leader James Alexander said the plan was need to protect York from “uncontrolled development.”

He added: “I’m disappointed opposition parties have ganged up to stall the delivery of such an important plan for York.”