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Lib Dems Hand in Petition Against York Local Plan

York Local Plan Map

10:24am 20th July 2013

York’s Liberal Democrat councillors have presented a petition signed by 2,559 local residents opposing Labour’s plans to build more than 22,000 houses across York.

Labour’s Draft Local Plan proposes constructing 1,090 houses a year, including on draft green belt sites and on sites previously rejected by residents. The proposals almost double the housing targets agreed under the previous Lib Dem led Council and are facing widespread opposition.

Residents across York are signing the petition with particular support in Huntington, Haxby, Dunnington, Woodthorpe and Heworth Without which will all be affected by large developments on green belt land. Residents in Fulford and Heslington have also signed, with many raising concerns over the proposed 5,500 house new town ‘Whinthorpe’.

The petition, which will remain open until the 31st July, was presented to last night’s Full Council– the last major meeting before the consultation closes at the end of the month. The petition can be found here:www.yorklibdems.org.uk/saveourgreenbelt and will be included in the Liberal Democrat submission.

Cllr Ann Reid, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Planning and Sustainability who is opposing plans for the site at Moor Lane in Woodthorpe, commented:

“The fact that over 2,500 local residents have signed our petition so far shows the level of public opposition to Labour’s plans. I know from speaking to residents about the proposed site at Moor Lane in Woodthorpe, that there is concern these plans will change the character of York, exacerbate congestion, and adversely affect the nearby Askham Bog Nature Reserve. Residents simply do not believe that Labour can deliver the local infrastructure or the jobs needed to support this scale of growth. Labour must now listen to the residents of York and rethink. We are still collecting signatures and I would urge residents to show their opposition before the consultation closes on the 31st July. The final numbers will be included in our consultation submission.”

Nick Emmerson, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for York Outer, commented:

“Labour made bold promises at the last local election to protect the identity of York. Unfortunately, of the 22,000 houses proposed in their Local Plan, three quarters will be built on 2,000 acres of green belt land. York needs a Local Plan and a sustainable increase in housing, but residents are overwhelmingly telling us that these don’t support Labour’s vision for our city. I am working closely with local people to promote a real alternative which addresses their concerns and focuses development on existing brownfield sites.”

Cllr James Alexander, Labour Leader of City of York Council, said: “Every household will receive information about York’s Local Plan and have the opportunity to have their say over how we address York’s homes crisis.

“York does not currently have a defined Green belt and the draft Local Plan has the opportunity to define it for the first time whilst securing homes and jobs for the future.

“We encourage all of York’s residents and businesses to take part in this consultation before Wednesday 31 July. The significance of what York’s Local Plan will deliver can not be underestimated and without a plan, recent changes in Government legislation would see uncontrolled development across the draft Green Belt.”

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