A PARISH council is taking York's local authority to the High Court over a decision to allow changes to the city’s biggest current housing development.

Fulford Parish Council is seeking a judicial review of City of York Council planning committee’s approval of Persimmon’s application to amend original plans for 650 homes on the Germany Beck site at Fulford.

A majority of councillors agreed with officers at a meeting in October that the proposed alterations were not material, with Cllr John Galvin saying that to think otherwise would be "ridiculous".

However, a minority agreed with the parish that the changes were material and suggested approval would set a "dangerous precedent" for further phases of the scheme and other developments elsewhere in York.

Now the parish has issued a statement saying it considers the design changes to be "detrimental", significantly reducing the quality of the development compared to a reserved matters application approved in 2013.

“In addition, the layout changes will result in the loss of some trees, footpath links and open space areas,” it said.

“Therefore the parish council deems it is in the public interest to challenge the decision on behalf of local residents, who were not notified or consulted, and has therefore applied to the court for permission to commence judicial review proceedings.”

A York council spokeswoman said it had received a notice of application by the parish council to judicially review a decision regarding Germany Beck.

“We will prepare a response which will be considered by a High Court judge,” she added.

The Press gave Persimmon Homes Yorkshire opportunity to comment, and specifically asked whether the challenge would halt any building work on the Germany Beck site, which started earlier this year.

A spokesperson replied saying it was "disappointed" the parish was challenging the decision to grant approval of its "non-material amendment application".

The spokesperson said: “Our homeowners are of the utmost importance to us and we have informed them of the situation.

“We will be discussing with them privately how the situation will be managed until the parish council decides to withdraw or their legal case is determined.

“We have a strategy in place for this short term inconvenience, but many of our consented new homes are unaffected, so we would encourage people to come and talk to us about new homes on offer.”

At the meeting in October, Robin McGinn, representing Persimmon, said there had already been four judicial review attempts 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 the parish council, claimed then that about 50 per cent of the house-types would be altered under the application.