COUNCILLORS have backed changes to one of York’s biggest housing developments - but a parish council is to seek a barrister’s advice on whether it can challenge the decision in the High Court.

City of York Council’s planning committee voted 12-3 to approve an application by Persimmon Homes for a ‘non-material amendment’ to original plans for the Germany Beck site at Fulford.

A majority of councillors agreed with officers that the proposed alterations to properties were not material, with Tory Cllr John Galvin saying to think otherwise would be ‘ridiculous.’

But a minority felt they were material changes, and Independents Mark Warters and David Carr claimed approval would set a ‘dangerous precedent’ for further phases of the scheme and other developments elsewhere in York.

Cllr Carr also claimed Persimmon had been ‘aloof’ in its dealings with local residents, while others, including committee chair Ann Reid, suggested the company could have done more to keep villagers informed and consulted.

Robin McGinn, representing Persimmon, said there had already been four judicial review attempt in relation to the Germany Beck scheme, all of which, he claimed, had been found to be ‘totally without merit’ and which had been at a substantial cost to the taxpayers of York

Mary Urmston, of Fulford Parish Council, claimed about 50 per cent of the house-types would be altered and important footpath links would be lost under the proposals.

She said afterwards that the parish council had already agreed to seek counsel’s advice on its prospects in seeking a judicial review at the High Court, in the event of such a decision being made by the committee.