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Community stadium rejection would be ‘disaster for York’
COUNCIL leader James Alexander has warned that if a new stadium and two superstores are refused planning permission, it will send out a ‘disastrous’ message that York is closed for business.
The Labour leader of City of York Council claimed that Oakgate (Monks Cross) Ltd’s controversial proposals for land at Monks Cross represented the “opportunity of a generation.”
And he urged those in support of the scheme for a 6,000-seater ground and new John Lewis and Marks & Spencer stores to make their voices heard now.
“It’s important for such an important development that councillors hear from those that support the application as well as from those who don’t,” he said.
“Often it is only those who oppose schemes that make their voices heard, but for the sake of jobs and growth in this city, councillors need representations from those in favour too.
“As I’ve said before, turning this down is likely to turn down investment in our city for years and years to come and send the message that York is closed for business, and that would be disastrous for the city.”
But York Chamber of Trade chairman Adam Sinclair strongly refuted the claims, saying that if the scheme was approved, large parts of the city centre would “go to sleep and never wake up.”
He said: “The council’s own planning consultants Drivers Jonas Deloitte have confirmed that the Monks Cross proposals would have a significant adverse and long-term impact on the income of the world-class city centre, and on future investment in the centre.”
Green councillor Dave Taylor claimed Coun Alexander was “taking a risky punt into heavy seas with the proposals, which threaten to put hundreds of York citizens’ jobs at risk, and stifle business investment for years to come.”
The application will be determined by 16 councillors on the planning committee at a meeting on Thursday, without them having been given a recommendation by officials on whether to approve or refuse.