Ministers have decided against an inquiry into the York Central plans

19 Jun 2019 @ 8.53 pm
| Environment, Politics

The blueprint has got the green light.

But some will see red over the government’s decision to reject an inquiry into the decision to grant York Central outline planning permission.

The city’s biggest development opportunity in several generations, York Central will unlock the 111-acre teardrop-shaped site behind the station.

Councillors have welcomed the decision to let the masterplan progress, saying it is “a major opportunity to build new affordable homes, attract better paid jobs, deliver new public spaces and create sustainable transport links for the city”.

But it will dismay campaigners from Clean Air York, York Bus Forum, York Central Action, York Civic Trust, York Cycle Campaign and York Environment Forum. They aired their considerable concerns about the project in a letter to ministers earlier this week.

What people are saying

This is very welcome news. Delivering York Central is a major opportunity to build new affordable homes, attract better paid jobs, deliver new public spaces and create sustainable transport links for the city.

The outline application reflects the ambition we’ve demanded for the development, including the sustainable design standards.

– Council leader Keith Aspden

It is disappointing that the Government have not called in the plans for York Central, but it’s hardly a surprise.

The Tories are intent on using the most important development site in York’s history for stacking high-rise, luxury apartments rather than maximising the benefits that significant economic investment will bring to York in the long-term.

We urgently need to invest in higher wage, high quality careers to give hope to everyone in York and to move away from low wage, insecure work. The plans also fail to deliver the homes that all evidence highlights are needed for people to rent and buy at genuinely affordable levels.

– York Central MP Rachael Maskell

We’re extremely proud that, by working together, the partnership is on the verge of transforming this brownfield land into a place which will be at the heart of York’s economic and social life for generations.

There is still a huge amount of hard work ahead of us, but this decision allows us to get on with the next phase of making York Central happen.

– Ian Gray, York Central Partnership

This is a major step forward for York Central and it is right that a decision on a development of this size and significance should be made here in York.

As well as new homes and jobs, York Central will transform the National Railway Museum into a world-class visitor attraction and our new Wonderlab gallery will provide fantastic opportunities for young people to learn about science and engineering.

National Railway Museum director Judith McNicol

The York Central masterplan

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This is what the partners say the York Central masterplan will provide:

  • flexible commercial space to attract new employers and higher wage careers
  • up to 2,500 high quality homes “suitable for a range of incomes”, including at least 20% available through affordable home schemes
  • 2,400 parking spaces, segregated pedestrian and cycle routes, and new bus and park and ride routes
  • ‘vertical villages’ drawing on “the very best high density urban design the world has to offer”
  • 17 acres of park and public space
  • a new western entrance to the railway station
  • a new central gallery for the NRM with a steam train ride through the park
  • a new western access road and statement bridge from Water End