Major redevelopment plans for a street in the heart of York city centre could see a new riverside walkway and a new bridge across the river Ouse built.
Coney Street could be transformed under the proposals, which have been launched by York-based private developers Helmsley Group, who own buildings along the main shopping street.
It would be called the Riverside Quarter.
The plans will first focus on creating a new riverside walkway, which could be accessed from the path down to City Screen cinema and run along to Ouse Bridge. It could cost between £5.65m and £7.52m.
The study also looked at options for a new walkway between Dame Judi Dench Walk and Vodka Revolution’s terrace – but it found significant setbacks. (more further down)
City of York Council will work with private developers to move the project forward.
The council hopes the development will spark investment in Coney Street from landlords and businesses, an area of the city which officers say is starting to decline.
The buildings on Coney Street and the riverside walkway could become cafes or bars, an early report into the plans says, with the upper floors of the buildings turned into hotels and offices.
It says they should not become flats because of accessibility issues.
Reports say plans for the new pedestrian bridge between City Screen and North Street Gardens need to be put on hold and discussed as part of the council’s new local transport plan.
And plans for a walkway between City Screen and Lendal Bridge are currently “considered to be too problematic” because they would pass the historic Guildhall and have an impact on its setting. There are also issues with complex land ownership arrangements.
Three designs have been put forward for a new pedestrian bridge across the river, from the walkway down to City Screen and Pitcher and Piano, across the Ouse and ending in North Street Gardens.
The options range in cost from £5m to £5.23m – but one of the designs would see the bridge close when the river level is high.
The study also looked at options for a new walkway between Dame Judi Dench Walk and Vodka Revolution’s terrace – but it found significant setbacks.
The plans would require access through the City Cruises Boatyard, which is not currently possible.
The walkway would need to be designed to cope with flooding, be sensitive to the historic Guildhall building and the study said the walkway would probably not be well-used. The report says this part of the project will not move to the next stage at the moment.
A feasibility study has looked at whether the project can be completed, how the designs could look and how much the plans are likely to cost.
The council has already included the project in a bid to the Government’s levelling up fund in the hope of securing cash to match the contribution from private developers.
Whilst the scheme has been launched by private developers, the council has a key role to play because it owns land involved in the project, including 27 to 27 Coney Street – the Holland and Barrett shop – bought by the council in 2019 for £2.796 million.
The project will be discussed by senior councillors at a meeting next week.