The Press of January 3 included an article reporting the fears of Coun D'Agorne (Green leader's gridlock alert) about the effect on the future of York as a special place of increasing traffic generated by pending and approved development across the city.

In your leader comment of the same day, you concluded that, while we should accept and welcome new growth, it should be properly planned so that all that is special about our city is protected.

Together these items demonstrate once again the case for a study to be conducted to establish the limits of the city's capacity to absorb new development, without damage to its special character.

It is not enough simply to carry out yet more traffic impact assessments in order to put in place systems to "manage" ever-increasing volumes of traffic.

The extent of the city's capacity to accommodate the full impact, visual and physical, of so much new development needs to be defined. We need to know what the limits are and how far this expansion can go before the city is spoiled.

The special qualities of the city are cited regularly by our leaders as the reason York is able to attract new jobs and new businesses. Surely it is only commonsense then to take care of them, and make sure they are not spoiled by overdevelopment and floods of gridlocked traffic?

Representations asking for a capacity study were made by English Heritage and the York Environment Forum to the two planning inquiries last year, on the university expansion scheme, and on developments at Derwenthorpe and Germany Beck. Let us hope the planning inspectors will understand the concerns of very many of the residents of this city, who see their special place in danger of being swamped by the environmental effects of too many blocks of alien flats.

Alison Sinclair, Norfolk Street, York.