PLANS for 158 new homes in the green belt in a York village are being recommended for approval – despite claims they would harm the city’s character and historic setting.

Developers Gladman want to build on the north-eastern boundary of Copmanthorpe on a triangular patch of land between Tadcaster Road and the railway line.

The development would have an average of three bedrooms per dwelling, with 48 of the total required to be affordable – plus an area of open space at the eastern end.

The site has been identified as land for housing in City of York Council’s draft Local Plan and council officers have said the proposal is “suitable and deliverable”. 

Historic England has opposed the application because it said it “would harm the relationship of the main built-up area with one of its surrounding villages” and would “fail to preserve the special character and setting of the historic City of York”.

The heritage organisation said in a submission to the council: “If permitted, this development would bring Copmanthorpe 175 metres closer to the edge of the city and would reduce the gap between York and the village to little more than the field that lies between the A64 and the slip road onto Tadcaster Road.”

There have been 30 letters of objection sent to the council and two letters of support.

Copmanthorpe Parish Council has not formally objected but has called for the size of the development to be cut in half to protect wildlife and prevent flooding. 

Parish councillors also warned that the new homes “would put unsustainable pressure on the village’s already strained services”.

Gladman would be required to contribute more than £1.3m to support local school places at Copmanthorpe Primary School and Millthorpe School.

Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group has asked for between £200,000 – £290,000 to expand Old School Medical Practice if the application is successful.

Gladman said the development had been “carefully considered to ensure that it will provide high quality sustainable development” which “will be a positive addition to Copmanthorpe complementing the character of the surrounding area”.

Planning documents state that there is a “significant need” for housing in the city and that this cannot be accommodated on land purely outside the green belt.

The council report stated: “It is recognised that an undersupply of homes or employment land would exacerbate housing affordability issues, increase unsustainable commuting patterns and adversely impact on building a strong, competitive economy.”

Councillors on the planning committee will have the final say at a meeting on Monday, July 11.