COUNCIL bosses could challenge a decision by their own councillors to prevent them holding events on a York stray.

An application by City of York Council to use Monk Stray, in Heworth Without, for "family events" on up to 14 days a year was turned down last month, although it will be one of the city's spectator hubs for the Tour de France in July.

The cross-party licensing panel made the decision to approve the Tour plans but no other events after about 300 letters asking for the proposals to be dropped or amended were lodged. Heworth Without councillor Nigel Ayre and York Outer MP Julian Sturdy also objected, but the authority has not ruled out an appeal.

Sally Burns, director of communities and neighbourhoods, said: "The council is currently considering its position.

"We're delighted a one-day license has been granted, which will enable a temporary community-based hub so families can be even more involved in the city-wide celebrations surrounding the incredible spectacle which is the Tour de France."

The application's opponents claimed the council was using the Tour as a "Trojan horse" for more regular Monk Stray events, and that this could lead to their lives being disrupted almost every summer weekend.

The authority said it had no current plans to use the stray for anything apart from the spectator hub, but having a permanent licence would save money if events were held in the future.

Coun Ayre said: "The public and the licensing panel have made their views clear, and the council should listen and rule out any appeal.

"If the council does challenge the decision, we would be in the farcical position where taxpayers would be funding both sides - the council committee trying to defend its decision and the council bosses trying to force through an unpopular application. All along, the council said the application was not about turning Monk Stray into a regular venue for events, so if they appeal it would be an admission that their plan all along was for wider use of the stray."

In a letter to Heworth Without residents, Mr Sturdy said the licensing panel showed "common sense" and any council appeal must be challenged.