A developer has called for green belt land at Monks Cross to be turned into a massive technology park generating about 2,500 jobs.

Peter Smith, co-director of developers Huntington Ltd, wants City of York Council to lift the building ban on 87 acres of farmland stretching from the Hopgrove roundabout to the Monks Cross roundabout to allow hi-tech factories to emerge.

Mr Smith, who says he and his partner, fellow surveyor Hugh Ball have first refusal on the land, will make their objections known as part of the consultation procedure laid down by the council on its local development plan.

They are arguing that it would be a natural follow-up to the Science Park at the University of York which was short of space for full factory production of ideas that had been researched and developed, and the development would provide "prestige" premises to attract inward investors.

It would also be only a few minutes' drive from technology centres like the university and the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food laboratories at Sand Hutton and it would provide the possibility for a fruitful partnership between developers and York University.

Mr Smith says those hi-tech companies already in York would be tempted to move to Monks Cross, freeing space within the city walls for retail and other uses.

Mr Smith, who with his partner has already built the Sainsbury's food store and Arabesque House offices at Monks Cross said: "We could offer any organisation that wanted to move there the opportunity either to buy or lease and it would attract the interest of venture capitalists, many of whom are interested in supporting small but brilliant high tech ventures.

"I'm aware that the green belt designation will make this an uphill struggle, but with so much development at Monk's Cross planned and in the process of being built, this would form a naturally integral part of a growing community.

"It will also help to turn York into what it has striven to be for so long - a Cambridge of the North."

Ian Thompson, of the City of York Council, said: "We recognise the suitability of Monks Cross for business development and as a major employment area. But green belt land is also important and it is a question of striking the right balance, which I think we have done in the Local Plan."

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