We need to build on the Green Belt to avoid 40-floor tower blocks in York, says the city’s new housing boss.
Michael Pavlovic is the executive member for housing and planning in the new Labour administration running City of York Council.
And he said: “We are going to have to build on the Green Belt because there are not enough brownfield sites in a place like York unless people want massive tower blocks built on them.
“We don’t want 20, 30, 40-floor tower blocks in a place like York.
“There’s no appetite for it from politicians or the public.”
Mr Pavlovic acknowledged the “huge issue” of housing in York, adding: “We have a population that is being priced out of the city.”
Matthew Freckelton, head of cities for Uber, is running to be the Conservative candidate in the North Yorkshire joint authority mayoral election in 2024 and agrees that councils are being left with little choice.
“We need to ensure that we have thriving communities in the countryside,” he said.
“If we don’t build houses in the countryside that are affordable for young people and families, then we’ll have long-term unintended consequences such as school closures because there aren’t kids coming into those areas.
“If we look at the entire country, less than about two per cent has been built upon.
“Yes, we need to protect the Green Belt, but if we look at where the Green Belt actually covers, we can identify plenty of sites that we can build on.”
York Central has 1,062 hectacres (18.3 per cent) of Green Belt land that may be built upon.
Whereas 54,313 acres (88.8 per cent) of the York Outer constituency is Green Belt land.
Nationally, Labour have suggested that it will allow councils to force property owners to sell land to make way for major housing developments.
Such compulsory purchase orders would be welcomed by the new York council, said Cllr Pavlovic.
“I think it’s got a lot of potential in a place like York,” he said.
“If they are planning on doing something then I think it will be a massively positive change for the city because it will free up land to be used for more affordable housing.”
[tptn_list limit=3 daily=1 hour_range=1]