The High Court verdict on the Clifford’s Tower visitor centre is due on Friday

A view of Clifford's Tower which will change forever under the approved plans. Photograph © Tim Green on Flickr
8 Jun 2017 @ 8.56 pm
| History, News

The long-awaited High Court verdict on plans for a Clifford’s Tower visitor centre is imminent.

A judge will rule on the lawfulness of the decision to grant permission for the centre tomorrow (Friday June 9).

English Heritage wants to build the centre below the 13th-century castle at the base of its motte.

City of York Council approved the plan for a gift shop and interpretation centre last year, but this decision was challenged by a group of residents led by independent city councillor Johnny Hayes.

‘Opinion sharply divided’

An artist’s impression of the visitor centre

Cllr Hayes took the case to a Judicial Review, which was heard in the High Court in Leeds in May. After a day of detailed argument about planning law, the judge, Mr Justice Kerr, announced he would reserve his judgment.

He is due to deliver that verdict tomorrow morning. The Royal Courts of Justice has the case listed on its website for 9.45am.

More than £14,000 was raised through crowdfunding to pay for the legal costs. But Cllr Hayes has still had to invest some of his own savings in the fight.

More than 3,000 people signed a petition against the development. At the hearing in May, Justice Kerr said the controversy had “sharply divided local opinion” and that “the castle is of enormous importance to everybody”.