A NEW strategy to control the number of new hotels opening in York is due to be published next month - three years after it was called for by hoteliers and councillors.

City of York Council has revealed a draft hotel strategy has been drawn up, with the final version to be published in September.

The report comes after council leader James Alexander first mooted the need for hotel development to be monitored in 2011, later indicating that a strategy would be in place by March this year.

Cllr Alexander said: "It think it is wrong that a city like York that relies so much on tourism has not had a strategy for the quality and number of hotel bed spaces in the city.

"It is something I have discussed with the York Hoteliers Association some time ago, and I am pleased a strategy is coming to fruition.

"It has taken longer than expected but I think it is right that time was taken to get it right, and a lot of work has gone into it."

Earlier this year hoteliers voiced their disappointment over the lack of strategy following the council’s decision to approve selling the Reynard’s Garage site in Piccadilly to one of four developers, which all included a hotel in their plans.

Speaking at the time Lionel Chatard, Middlethorpe Hall Hotel director and general manager and chairman of York Hoteliers Association, said: "We were promised a strategy two years ago, and it is upsetting that while it is being worked on, applications for new hotels keep being approved.

"Hoteliers are not worried about competing, but the situation is just too much and it needs to be controlled."

Calls for a strategy were first made in 2011 after a series of planning approvals for hotels in Layerthorpe, Paragon Street, St Maurice’s Road, one as part of the Terry’s site development as well as hotels in Toft Green, Walmgate, and a further hotel at Holgate Villas in Holgate.

Since then further planning permission was granted to transform the council's former offices in St Leonard's Place into a hotel, however developers this week revealed they had abandoned the plans in favour of luxury town houses and apartments.

Speaking about the time taken to put together the strategy, a spokesperson from the council's economic development team said: "The delays have been down largely to ensuring that we have something robust enough to provide us a basis on which to comment on and ultimately guide planning policy with regard to tourism accommodation, ensuring the study drew on sufficiently robust data to do so."