DEVELOPERS will not be allowed to build 11 new houses on a site in Strensall after locals and councillors spoke out against more building in the greenbelt.

Plans for the new homes on land between 92 and 100 The Village, Strensall were rejected by a council planning committee, amid worries over flooding, overdevelopment, overloading the village's infrastructure and services.

Parish councillor Andrew Bolton had told the city councillors that Strensall had seen "more than its fair share" of new building in recent years.

He added: "The population is now bigger than Easingwold or even Malton with none of the amenities.

"We are in danger of turning this historic village on the edge of a nationally significant nature reserve into a huge commuter housing estate."

The site had been eyed by developers as long ago as the 1990s but had seen national planning inspectors rebuff approaches on the grounds that the greenbelt plot should not be dug up.

Planners from the city council had recommended that councillors turn down this latest application when they met on Thursday, saying the "very special circumstances" put forward by the developers were not strong enough to justify building new homes on the greenbelt land.

The plans had also attracted scores of objections, with 54 letters written by local people backed up by formal representations from the parish council, the City of York ward councillors for Strensall, and the York Outer MP Julian Sturdy.

Strensall city councillor Paul Doughty spoke at the meeting backing up the officer recommendations against the scheme, and voicing fears that the small application could be a Trojan horse to smooth the way for much bigger developments on the land.

Another small application for a suburban York site was due to be discussed at the same meeting, but was pulled out by the applicants at the last minute.

In Rawcliffe, Gem Holdings (York) wanted to build 14 flats after tearing down a historic Clifton Hospital building.

Although the building is not listed and is not in a conservation area, the city archaeologist had objected to the plans saying North Lodge was a "significant and prominent" 19th century building in York and its loss would be regretted. Councillors were told at the meeting that the plans had been withdrawn.