Senior councillors back plans to begin public talks on planning blueprint

Senior councillors in York have backed plans to hold public talks on York’s revised local plan which would see fewer homes than originally proposed built across the city.

Earlier this month a dramatic U-turn was put forward by the ruling Labour group which proposed the number of homes earmarked for York to meet future housing needs should be reduced by 5,000. Its draft plans to build 22,000 homes in the coming years sparked huge concerns with fears raised that there were not enough roads and schools in place to cope and worries that villages and areas in the outskirts of the city would be swamped with homes.

Now following a meeting of the council’s cabinet public talks are set to be held on the latest local plan proposals.

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A spokeswoman for York Council said: “Cabinet has approved proposals to progress a consultation on York’s Local Plan.”

The local plan is a planning blueprint which will shape future development including jobs, housing and transport, over the next 15 years and beyond.

A consultation on a draft plan received 14,000 responses - the biggest ever single response to public talks the authority has received.

Coun James Alexander, the leader of York Council, told a press conference earlier this month it now planned to build 17,000 homes. “We want to see more homes being built but it is important this is done in a careful way, ” he said.

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Officers say the city and surrounding area lack suitable brownfield sites and many of the sites in the plan are green field.

In total 67 sites have been identified for housing across the city over the next 15 years. They include Whinthorpe, in the south east of York, which could see around 6,000 new homes built over the next 25 years and Clifton Gate, north of Clifton Moor, which could see 2,800 new homes built. The proposals suggest over 13,500 jobs can be created over the plan’s lifetime.