ROADS between York and Heslington will have to cope with an extra three million journeys a year if university expansion plans are approved.

That was the claim of Heslington Parish Council as it delivered its final submissions to a public inquiry into controversial proposals for 65-hectare extension to the campus.

Parish council chairman Richard Frost said up to 4,000 part-time students were predicted if the expansion went ahead, and they would not be provided with accommodation.

"It follows, therefore, that they will travel into the university to study and, as they are more likely to be mature, many more of them will come by car. These numbers have not been factored into the traffic predictions. Heslington Parish Council has calculated that there will be 3,000,000 extra Heslington-York/York-Heslington journeys per annum as a direct result of this application."

He claimed the proposals, if approved, seemed to allow the university "unfettered discretion" to develop how, when, what and where it wished into the future, and for how many students it might like, depending on the availability of funding. This we challenge as a matter of principle and ask, in particular, whether this is in any way an acceptable method of developing greenfield sites.

"We challenge whether all the development is required at this location at this time."

He said there was only one chance to maintain the integrity of the green belt around York.

He also said that people living in Heslington were already affected by problems such as noise, antisocial behaviour and parking, along with an impact on the local housing market, because of the university.

"An increase of 5,400 full-time equivalent students and 1,500 staff, and 3,000+ Science City workers will make an unacceptable situation unbearable."

Earlier, the York and Selby branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) told the inquiry that it had no problem with the university's ambitions to expand.

"What we have consistently opposed, however, is the proposals to build a news campus, known as Heslington East, on 287 acres of high-quality agricultural land set within the York green belt," said the branch chairman, Dr Guy Woolley.

He claimed the existing 168-acre campus had significant underused capacity.

The inquiry, at York Guildhall, was expected to finish today.