A PUBLIC inquiry may be looming after more than 400 people objected to plans to close a key city road as part of the York Central development.

Holgate councillors claim the huge number of people lodging objections with the Department for Transport to a ‘stopping up order’ for Leeman Road shows the strength of opposition, and an inquiry is needed.

The road closure would be required if the National Railway Museum is to go ahead with building a new gallery to link the two existing sides of the museum.

However, local residents have complained about the inconvenience and delay they would face in going along a diversionary route around the side of the NRM.

One said they used Leeman Road several times a week both to walk and drive down, and an alternative route along the riverside was badly lit and narrow, it didn’t feel safe on their own at night and it also flooded.

A DfT spokeswoman said the objection period for the proposal ended on July 7, and the Secretary of State was considering the objections received and would make a decision in due course as to whether or not to hold a public inquiry.

A spokesman for York Central Partnership (YCP), which wants to build up to 2,500 homes and create 6,500 jobs on land behind York station, said it was ‘aware of and have planned for the DfT process and its potential stages.’

All three Holgate Labour councillors, Rachel Melly, Kallum Taylor and David Heaton, said they had objected, claiming the closure would cause inconvenience to thousands of residents and have a negative impact on active travel and public transport routes.

Cllr Melly thanked everyone who took the time to write an objection, and said she felt an inquiry was required to examine all the issues raised.”All of these objections are unique and individually prepared, rather than template objections simply requiring a name to be added, which shows the huge effort people have gone to and strength of feeling in the local community,” she said.

She said an organisation called SCP, acting for York Central partners Homes England, Network Rail and the NRM, was in the process of writing to all objectors, providing information and seeking to persuade them to withdraw their objection.

Cllr Taylor claimed the YCP talked down problems with the current plans and underplayed the negative impacts on local residents, and much more work needed to be done with them to find a solution they could get behind. Cllr Heaton said objections on this scale from the local community could ‘not simply be swept aside.’