York & North Yorkshire

York's housing development plan 'unrealistic'

York skyline
Image caption The report predicts that York's population will rise by 40,000 by 2030

Plans to build more than 1,000 homes a year in York over the next 15 years have been criticised by opposition councillors.

The city's Labour council unveiled the proposal as part of the city's new development plan.

The report said the new homes are needed to cope with a predicted increase in the city's population of 40,000 people by 2030.

A Lib Dem councillor described the figures as "unrealistic".

The document identifies 62 sites across the city that could be used for housing, including Holme Hill which could see 5,580 properties built and Clifton Gate which the report said has potential for 4,020 new homes.

Some of the proposed new homes would be built on greenbelt land.

'Plucked from nowhere'

Councillor James Alexander, Labour leader of City of York Council, said the biggest challenge facing the city was the need for affordable housing.

He said: "We've taken the tough decision to allocate 1.8% of draft greenbelt land for development in order to meet the needs of our rapidly growing city and deliver key developments such as York Central, and to deliver jobs, homes and protect York's unique built environment for future generations."

Councillor Ann Reid, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for planning and sustainability, claimed that the city's population had only grown at 1% per year over the last decade, a figure which only required 400 new homes each year.

She said the target of 1,090 new homes a year had been "plucked from nowhere".

Ms Reid said: "What we do know is that growth on this scale would radically alter the character of York and put a strain on existing infrastructure."

The plan is to be out to public consultation.

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