YORK council chiefs have asked for talks with a Government minister after he criticised local authorities for unnecessarily setting aside green-belt land for future long-term developments in their Local Plans.

Planning minister Nick Boles said councils should stop unnecessarily threatening to build on the protected green belt and urged authorities not to set aside too much land for development.

His comments came after York Outer Tory MP Julian Sturdy had criticised the way York was ‘safeguarding’ land for future long-term development, such as a 230-acre site east of Earswick.

The council’s deputy leader Tracey Simpson-Laing said the authority had written to Mr Boles to ask him to discuss his observations on the plan process, as it was important York was placed in the best possible position before its plan was submitted to the Government next year.