PLANNING applications for the huge York Central project may need to be resubmitted and millions of pounds of funding for the scheme could be put at risk if plans to stop Leeman Road from being closed are successful.

York Central Partnership applied for permission to permanently close Leeman Road at the National Railway Museum as part of the development. But more than 1,400 residents objected to the road closure and last week a government inspector concluded a public inquiry into the plans.

He heard arguments from both sides - representatives of York Central Partnership and the National Railway Museum and from residents and Holgate councillors. The inspector will now make a recommendation to the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps MP, who will decide if plans to close the road can go ahead, or if they should be halted.

City of York Council officers admit that if plans to close Leeman Road are refused, it could mean that two large planning applications that have already been approved for the project would need to be reviewed - or even resubmitted.

The project has also been granted £77.1 million funding from the Government and £37.3 million from West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) - and both sums may need to be reviewed if the stopping up order is rejected.

Tracey Carter from the council told a meeting: “The conclusion from the planning consultants was that if the stopping up order was not granted, then that would require the reserved matters planning application for the infrastructure and the outline planning application to be reconsidered as to whether the changes that that would then require were so significant that it was a completely new application.

“Or whether it was for a section 77 consent [which allows significant changes to an application but not a brand new application].

“In either of those scenarios it would require the funders to confirm that their funding was still conditioned on either a revised outline or a reserved matters application.”

She added: “If the stopping up order is not granted and a different road design, alignment and timescale is required, it would need to go back to [WYCA’s] investment committee for sign off as well.”

Neil Ferris from the council added that York Central Partnership and the council had been following the process for the public inquiry and added: “We fully expect that stopping up order to be given.”

He said the risk has always been there and there are plans to review the project and funding if it is not granted.

The public inquiry started on April 27 and lasted for five days.

The council took a neutral stance at the inquiry, neither supporting nor objecting to the plan to stop up Leeman Road. Inspector Paul Singleton, who will write a report advising the Secretary of State on the decision, said he found the council's neutral stance "a little unusual", adding: "I do note that that’s the position the council has opted.”

Concluding the inquiry, Mr Singleton said he will prepare a report for the Secretary of State at the end of this month. A decision will then be made by the Transport Secretary.