York & North Yorkshire

York stadium retail park plans approved by council

Proposed Monks Cross development
Image caption The stadium would secure the future for York's professional sports clubs

Plans for a sports stadium and retail development on the outskirts of York have been approved.

Councillors voted in favour of the scheme, which will include John Lewis and Marks and Spencer stores together with a new ground for York City FC.

City centre traders had opposed the scheme for Monks Cross claiming it would affect their business.

But councillors were told the plan would guarantee York City's future.

The planning committee meeting voted 11-4 in favour of the scheme.

The meeting was attended by more than 200 people at a hotel in the city.

The Labour-run council's planning committee was told the project, which includes a 100,000 sq ft (9,290 sq m) John Lewis store and a 120,000 sq ft (11,150 sq m) Marks and Spencer shop, could add up to £16m a year to the city's economy.

But officers warned them without the stadium element, the application would not be acceptable due to the "strain" it would put on city centre retailers.

'Protection and survival'

The plans were supported by York City and rugby league club York City Knights, who will use the planned 6,000-seat community stadium.

York City, who will secure promotion to the Football League if they beat Luton FC at Wembley on Sunday, have argued the new stadium is essential for their survival.

Club chairman Jason McGill told the meeting a new stadium would ensure the "long-term protection and survival" of the club

One local resident objecting to the traffic impact of the plans said the stadium was "a cynical ploy masquerading as planning gain".

The developers, Oakgate (Monks Cross) Ltd, have said the plans could create up to 1,000 jobs.

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