GOVERNMENT Minister Sajid Javid has stepped in over a controversial plans by a Darlington-based firm to build a new asphalt plant near York.

Tynedale Roadstone, based at Barton, wants to build the plant at Hessay but the application has received more than 200 formal objections.

Communities Secretary Mr Javid is now looking at the proposals, with government planning officials insisting the development’s impact on the environment should be properly assessed.

The intervention overturns a key decision by City of York planners, who said that Tynedale Roadstone did not need to get an environmental impact assessment for their scheme.

A City of York Council spokesman said councillors will now not be able to consider the planning application at committee until the assessment has been prepared, and subject to a consultation.

Steve Mills, a member of local campaign group AVOID - A59 Villagers Oppose Inappropriate Development, said the asphalt plant plans were inappropriate.

He said: “The significant increase in HGVs, congestion at the Hessay junction and potentially damaging air and noise pollution are all alarming potential outcomes if this application was passed.

“Quite simply, it would be a totally inappropriate use of green belt land and we are delighted that Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, shares our concerns and has now stepped in.”

Local residents had appealed to the Secretary or State for a review of the application.

In a letter to City of York planners, a government planning official said the Secretary of State believed the development “is likely to have significant effects on the environment” nearby.