PLANS for a 50-bedroom hotel and service station next to the A64 on the edge of York have been unveiled.

A potential scheme for farmland next to the Hopgrove roundabout emerged last year, but firm proposals have now been handed in to City of York Council with the developers saying North Yorkshire's busiest road needs more facilities for motorists.

If approved - with a decision expected to be made over the summer - the scheme, which is in the green belt on a triangle of land between the A64 the outer ring road and Old Malton Road, would include a lodge-style hotel with up to 50 rooms, a petrol station, a restaurant or cafe and 211 parking spaces, as well as a children's play area.

Enita Europe Ltd, which has submitted the planning application said the closest A64 services to Hopgrove were 12 miles away at Bilbrough Top, and there was a 42-mile gap between this site and facilities at Staxton, near Scarborough.

In a statement to the council, planning consultants England & Lyle said the need for more roadside stops on the A64 had "long been recognised" and a 2002 study by the Highways Agency said the possibility of 24-hour services either at Hopgrove or Fulford Interchange should be looked at.

It said: "The application site was identified as a suitable location to meet the need for good-quality and comprehensive services on the A64."

Traffic experts brought in by the applicants said that while the number of cars using the junction will increase when the Vangarde shopping complex at Monks Cross opens, extra capacity was being provided. Their report said most drivers heading to the Hopgrove roundabout would be using the road already, with the entrance and exit for the development being from Malton Road.

After the possibility of a service station and hotel at the site was raised last year, concerns were raised by local politicians about its impact on the green belt and traffic levels, with Huntington and New Earswick councillor Keith Orrell saying the gap in facilities along the A64 ignored the fact York had many petrol stations, shops and hotels.