A DEVELOPER claims York’s Local Plan is set to block the creation of up to 2,000 jobs by ruling out his scheme for a new business park.

Richard France, managing director of Oakgate Group, says he is ‘very disappointed and frustrated’ that land near the McArthur Glen Designer Outlet at Fulford has not been included as an employment site in the latest draft of City of York Council’s plan.

“This proposed business park offers a unique opportunity to provide much-needed high-quality new offices that has been proven to be lacking, especially on the south side of the city,” he said in a letter to councillors which he passed on to The Press.

“It could create employment for up to 2,000 people and attract major inward investment into York, as well as providing space for thriving York companies to grow.

“This fits in with the council’s economic strategy of attracting and creating high value jobs for the city.”

He said there would also be a new dedicated 750 space Park and Ride instead of shared parking with the Designer Outlet, greatly improving sustainability.

He said the main reason given for excluding the site from the Plan was the visual impact from the A19, but Oakgate had submitted extensive evidence that any visual impact could be mitigated and was confident this had been clearly demonstrated.

“Whilst we control around 80 acres on land either side of St Nicholas Avenue, the road leading to the Designer Outlet, we have focused the development on the south side to ensure a green corridor is maintained along the A64, following advice from officers and other consultees,” he said.

“Indeed, we have proposed a 40-acre buffer zone, alongside the existing significant natural screening from mature trees around the site.”

He said that as a locally-based developer, it had delivered high quality developments over the years that had created thousands of jobs for York.

“At present, many businesses find it difficult to locate into York because of the lack of deliverable office and commercial space available.”

During consultations, Oakgate had had very positive feedback from a range of business organisations including the York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, Make it York and the Local Enterprise Partnership, he said.

He added that Make it York had said areas of the city located close to the A64 offered real opportunity for further commercial development and were well connected to major trunk roads.

Council leader Cllr David Carr said: “It is our considered view that this revised draft Local Plan strikes the right balance between allocating sufficient land for the city’s housing and employment needs whilst protecting the greenbelt and the special character and setting of York.”

The council’s executive has agreed to put the Plan out to full consultation in September.