IN his reply to Mick Phythian Tony Bennett states the city's strategy is "based on creating the conditions for a sustainable economy not dependent on inward investment" (April 5).

At the moment this strategy is dependent on a massive influx of job-seekers who require housing in every possible nook and cranny of the city, elimination of what little inner-city open space we have, major expansion into the green belt with development projects, and the allocation of "reserved land" on the periphery which we all know will end up being developed.

All this brings with it infrastructure and servicing problems which the city cannot afford to solve.

What sort of a "sustainable economy" is this? Everyone wants to see a prosperous York (including rural and urban areas) but it must not be at the expense of the city's quality of life. It is clear the council has not thought through this matter, but it is one of the aims of Without Walls's consultation to ensure these points are properly debated, brought to the attention of policy-makers so the fears of the citizens may be acted upon. I have seen no mention of the need to ensure balanced growth and the changes in policy to achieve it in the local election manifestoes of major parties.

Is this a case of business interests taking precedence over the electorate?

Perhaps we can have some answers before May 1.

Philip Crowe,



Updated: 10:12 Wednesday, April 16, 2003