A NEW access gate to let large vehicles on to Monk Stray from Stockton Lane could be approved by councillors today, despite opposition from neighbours.

The city council’s parks department has applied for planning permission to put in a new gateway onto the stray ahead of the planned Tour de France spectator hub, and the application is due in front of the planning committee this afternoon.

The application includes a “tarmac crossing over the existing verge adjacent to Stockton Lane and an 8m by 8m square of grasscrete on the stray,” and would mean removing part of the hedgerow.

A report by development management officer Neil Massey says Tour de France events and the acceptability of access affected plans for the gates, but says that and future events on the stray should not be considered part of the planning application.

The report also recommends that councillors approve the application, despite neighbours opposing the plans.

Seventy residents have written opposing the planning application for the gate, as has the Heworth Planning Forum.

There are fears the gate will make it easier to hold regular large-scale events on Monk Stray, change the character of the historic public space, damage wildlife and create traffic problems.