The Housing Secretary has backed plans for nearly 1,000 homes, a new school and a country park north of York after a developer said the council was taking too long to make a decision.
Redrow Homes appealed to the planning inspectorate on the grounds of non-determination after submitting plans for the garden village development in Huntington in 2018.
A public inquiry was held in January, with the planning inspector recommending that the appeal be allowed and planning permission granted.
Now, Minister of State for Housing, Lucy Frazer, has backed the decision on behalf of Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.
It will see 970 homes built on land to the west of Monks Cross Link Road, along with the primary school, community facilities and a convenience store, while the country park will be built to the east.
The land is within York’s green belt, but has been allocated for housing in the city’s draft Local Plan – its development blueprint for the coming decades – which is currently being examined by government inspectors.
Local councillors had previously called Redrow’s plans “premature”, saying they should wait until the Local Plan was ratified.
While the government acknowledged the development would cause harm to the green belt, its decision notice stated: “The Secretary of State agrees the proposal would make an important contribution to housing delivery in York over an extended period, and that there is an urgent need for housing in York.
“He further agrees with the Inspector that significant weight should be attached to the social and economic benefits of housing delivery.
“The Secretary of State agrees that delivery of 30% affordable housing would be a further social and economic benefit to which significant weight should be attached.”
City of York Council did not have a policy objection to the principle of development on the land, but it said it had not been provided with enough information about the impact on the highways network.
There was also disagreement over whether the plans provide adequate cycling and pedestrian connections to Monks Cross and York in general.
Barratt David Wilson Homes have also appealed to the government over their plans to build 300 homes just over a mile away off New Lane, next to the LNER stadium, on the grounds of non-determination.
The planning inspector’s report on that case was sent to the Secretary of State in June. A decision was expected by September, but there has been no update since the summer.