COUNCILLORS are being urged to approve changes to York’s 650-home Germany Beck scheme tomorrow evening - despite parish council claims this would be unlawful and could be quashed in the High Court.

City of York Council’s planning committee is due to consider an application by Persimmon Homes for a ‘non-material amendment’ to original plans for the Fulford site.

A report by development management officer Hannah Blackburn says two letters have been received from Fulford Parish Council, claiming plot substitutions and layout changes are significant and should not be treated as non-material.

“A further letter from Walton & Co Solicitors on behalf of the parish council has been received which states that it would be unlawful and irrational for the council to grant consent for the wide range of amendments sought as a non-material amendment,” she said.

“In their view, the range of amendments sought is outside the powers bestowed on the council pursuant to Section 96A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

“They consider an inevitable prospect of success in the High Court to quash such decision if the application is approved.”

A parish council spokeswoman told The Press it was confident councillors would ‘consider their decision very carefully’ when they discovered about 50 per cent of the house-types would be altered, important footpath links would be lost and significant areas of public space would disappear through the amendments.

Ms Blackburn said decisions over such changes to approved house types would ordinarily be processed by officers with delegated powers, but this had been queried by the parish and it was therefore being brought to committee to protect the council from any challenge on procedural grounds.

She said the proposed changes were ‘modest in scale and nature in the context of the overall residential scheme.’ She said: “Taking into account the previously agreed amendments to the original planning permission, the proposal would not materially impact upon the previously approved scheme as a whole.

“In exercising planning judgement, it is concluded that the amendments are non-material and, therefore, the application is recommended for approval.”