PLANS to build 60 new affordable homes to help tackle York’s deepening housing crisis have been scuppered after a planning inspector agreed with councillors that they didn’t justify the harm caused to the city’s Green Belt.

The scheme to build homes on land off Boroughbridge Road for people on York’s housing waiting list was rejected by City of York Council last year because it was on Green Belt land, even though the developer’s agent said York’s housing crisis had become “acute.”

The council had received 85 letters of objection, with neighbours saying they were worried about traffic and the impact on the Green Belt, and claiming enough homes were being built elsewhere in York.

Now an appeal by developers York Housing Association and Karbon Homes has also been rejected by planning inspector C Dillon, following an inquiry in July.

The inspector said the proposal for land west of Trenchard Road constituted inappropriate development in the Green Belt, which was by definition harmful to the Green Belt and should not be approved except in very special circumstances. They said: “When travelling in either direction along the A59 the appeal site provides an important reminder of York’s open countryside context which defines this historic city’s setting.”

The inspector agreed the scheme would quickly contribute to increasing the availability and choice of good quality affordable housing in an area where overall housing needs were "extreme" but said this did not amount to the "very special circumstances" required to justify the development within the belt.

Association managing director Julia Histon said she was "very disappointed" it couldn’t build a much-needed development of affordable homes for local people.

She said: "In the midst of a growing housing crisis, with huge demand for more affordable homes in York, it is frustrating that we have been prevented from building 60 new high quality, affordable homes for local people who would otherwise struggle to find a home in an area with high property prices.”

She said the association would look for other opportunities to bring more affordable homes.