Updated: A LANDMARK planning vision for York’s future is set to be withdrawn after plans for new superstores and a community stadium at Monks Cross were approved.

City of York Council’s core strategy, mapping out how York should be developed over the next 20 years, was criticised by Government inspector David Vickery earlier this year after he raised “significant concerns”.

Bill Woolley, the authority’s director of city and environmental services, has now written to Mr Vickery saying he has “reluctantly” decided to recommend that the strategy – part of York’s Local Development Framework (LDF) – should be withdrawn because of national planning policy changes and the “strategic significance” of the new John Lewis and Marks & Spencer stores, which got the go-ahead this month.

Officials have spent seven years working on the stragegy, which includes proposals for 16,000 new homes, but were last night unable to say how much time or money had been spent on it.

A leading York councillor branded the situation “chaos”, claiming it could have “serious implications” for York.

Mr Vickery had said he was aware the Monks Cross decision would be referred to the Government and that while he had already suspended his examination of the strategy for six months, a further delay would “create a great deal of uncertainty”.

Mr Woolley said “technical work and consultation” already carried out will be used in producing a new document, although further consultation would be needed on “any substantial changes” .

Coun Dave Merrett, cabinet member for planning, transport and sustainability, said the current core strategy situation was “significantly different” to the start of the process seven years ago, and a revised document would allow a fresh look at “housing, economic development and job creation ambitions”.

He said: “It offers us the opportunity to present a strategy or plan which is more explicit in how the city develops today, and we will ensure this is completed in the shortest possible timescale.”

But Conservative group leader Coun Ian Gillies said: “It is inconceivable that a document which has taken years to prepare and was only submitted in February was then contravened within weeks.

“The lack of professionalism shown by the council administration could have serious implications for the city, not only in cost, policies and direction, but also in reputation. They appear to be in chaos.”

Peter Kay, York Economic Partnership chairman, said: “I would much prefer the LDF to be sound and fulfil strategic objectives for York in amended form than to press on with it in its existing form and for it to be disapproved.

“If that delay means what we get is right for York, that has to be the right decision. What it will do is produce the certainty businesses, residents and developers of the York economy will need for future planning.”