VILLAGERS in York are mobilising ahead of a public meeting to discuss plans to build about 2,000 new homes on greenbelt land.

Allan Charlesworth, 68, a retired civil servant, said Earswick residents were horrified at the possibility of 88 hectares of land east of Strensall Road and adjacent to his home in Willow Grove being removed from the green belt under the revised draft Local Plan, which he claimed could mean around 2,000 houses eventually being built there.

As The Press reported in May, the Liberal Democrats got up a petition with more than 100 signatures opposing a proposed housing development on the land.

Mr Charlesworth said: "A developer has now arranged a public meeting for next month to look at possible plans.

"The proposed new development would totally swamp the current village, we'd lose our identity completely and the whole character of the area would change.

"We already have problems with drainage, we are a high water table area and the consequences of that many houses are unknown.

"It won't just affect our village. The additional volume of traffic caused by that many new homes will have a knock-on affect for the whole of the north of York, making journey times for people in Strensall and Sheriff Hutton far longer, not to mention the pollution and associated road safety issues."

Mr Charlesworth said a public meeting had been organised between 3pm-7pm at Earswick Village Hall on July 7.

The council launched a six-week long "Further Sites Consultation" on June 4, giving people the opportunity to comment on the Plan, which will guide housing, transport and employment developments in York over the next 15 years.

Mr Charlesworth urged anyone who can to come along and to take the chance to comment on the council's revised draft Local Plan ahead of the consultation closing on July 16.