I refer to your story headlined ‘New bridge, flats and park in plans’ (The Press, December 3). Not more apartments? Who will buy them? Investors, holiday-let landlords, Airbnb? And, more to the point, will anyone actually live in them?

What is happening to this lovely city? We’re told York has a housing problem. Yet two large areas of good family homes of various sizes are given over to student accommodation for the universities of York and York St John, occupied for only about half of the year, and there is a string of expensive student blocks from Hull Road to Walmgate Bar and beyond. All these sites could have been used for low-rise housing rather than the far-too-tall student blocks that ruin York’s skyline and overlook existing properties (for example at Devon Place, St Nicholas Gardens and Lawrence Street).

Lower Ebor Street is dwarfed by the Aparthotel - yet another hotel to add to those in the Layerthorpe area, again on land that could have been used for housing.

How many hotels do we need? Developments seem to be appearing piecemeal with no overall plan for the beauty and local needs of the city.

Elizabeth Hardcastle,

Thief Lane, York

Our roads couldn’t cope with Imphal houses

I find the suggestion that Imphal Barracks should be turned into a 750 house estate absolutely ridiculous (York’s future is taking shape at last, December 2). In fact the barracks should remain as they are. A bastion for the city of York.

The main road (A19) can barely cope with the volume of traffic now. Who really knows just what it’s going to be like when the Germany Beck development fully opens up? So then what happens? There is no way you can upgrade this road to cope. Is everyone who buys property on this site going to be provided with their own personal helicopter? Because that’s the only way anyone will be able to get in or out except on foot. Come on planners. Wake up.

Mick Horsman,

Moorland Road, York

Building offices does not guarantee jobs

The big flaw in Councillor Myers’ argument against the residential element of the Rougier Street proposals (Letters, November 29) is that the mere provision of business premises - whether offices, factories or any other building type - does not, of itself, provide highly paid skilled jobs.

It is those ‘wicked capitalists’ who create jobs. Those entrepreneurs who have the vision, skill and energy to create a profitable business that is able to offer well paid jobs to employees and send taxation revenue to government.

It has been claimed that the quality of offices is the problem and that Grade A specification is needed; but where Grade A offices have been built they have stood empty.

The cost of refurbishing offices to a higher standard is far less than creating individual homes in them, so if there was a genuine market for office space in York owners of those buildings would be satisfying that demand rather than pursuing costly redevelopment schemes.

Sadly, City of York Council is unable or unwilling to recognise this and insists on pouring millions of pounds of local taxpayers money into the Guidhall and York Central. Taking huge risks with other peoples money doesn’t trouble them. If they were real business people and their own homes, pensions, savings and salaries were on the line they might be more circumspect.

Matthew Laverack,

Lord Mayors Walk, York