A plan for how York Minster and its historic surroundings will develop in the coming years will go out for a referendum after senior councillors approved it.
The Chapter of York, which oversees the Minster, has no regular source of funding to care for the medieval building and its precinct and needs to secure “a sustainable financial future”, according to plan documents.
The new neighbourhood plan can be used to decide where new development takes place, what use it should have and what it should look like, though it cannot be used as a tool to prevent development.
People living in the area will be able to vote on whether they approve of the plan, which has been in development since 2018 and has been backed by an independent inspector.
Objectives of the plan include creating new visitor facilities, a dedicated museum to display the Minster’s collection and new community space for learning.
Policies are designed around key themes including sustainable environment, historic environment and wellbeing.
Council development officer, Sophie Hall-Thompson, said: “The plan itself seeks to protect and enhance York Minster and its surrounding environment as a cultural and spiritual destination for local and global visitors.”
Director of works and precinct at the minster, Alex McCallion, said: “We have developed a neighbourhood plan which sets out through policy, how we’re going to care for the Minster and its seven hectare precincts over the next 15 years.
“It is the first time a neighbourhood plan has been used to map the care of a cathedral or heritage estate.”
Mr McCallion added: “We are on the cusp of delivering major change within the precinct, with sustainability at its heart. Over 30 per cent of the precinct which is currently private will become public and our first new public park will open in August.
“The first solar tiles in the precinct will be fitted in May and a planning application for our centre of excellence facilities will be submitted next month, putting York on the international map as we partner with institutions around the world.”
Coun Nigel Ayre, executive member for finance and performance said: “It really is testament to the work we’ve been able to do to get to the stage that we’re at.
“It’s been community-led, there has been positive dialogue with the public, including amendments and changes – I think we’ve got a really excellent neighbourhood plan.”
The plan will come into effect if more than 50 per cent of people in the area vote in favour.