Proposal to move the House of Lords to York ‘took city leaders by surprise’

News that the Government is considering moving the House of Lords to York took political leaders by surprise – according to a councillor.

Cllr Kallum Taylor, ward councillor for Holgate which covers the York Central development, said if the plans go ahead the investment, employment and infrastructure it would bring is “a world apart” from current proposals for the land.

He added: “If there is actually substance behind this announcement, the administration should give it serious consideration.

“However, the fact that none of our political leaders have heard of this idea until now suggests there is still some way to go before we can consider it a serious proposal.”

City of York Council leader Keith Aspden welcomed the news – and said: “This is more evidence that York Central is one of the most exciting schemes in the country, with enormous potential to deliver economic growth, jobs and sustainable housing for the city.”

Flexible friend

Lots of potential: York Central. Photograph © Google Street View
Cllr Aspden said: “The outline planning permission we have secured for the York Central site allows for flexibility on the site.

“Once the Government outlines the process, we will understand more.

“Until then, we will continue to work alongside our partners to unlock the potential of York Central for the benefit of our residents across the city.”

Cllr Andrew Waller tweeted on Sunday that he had met Secretaries of State last week – but there had been no mention of the plans.

A council report says detailed design work is taking place on the York Central development this month.

And that a further planning application for infrastructure at the site is due to be submitted next month.

A decision on £77.1m of essential Government funding for the project is expected before the end of January – but was initially due to be made last March.

Reform and the regions

MD of Make It York Sean Bullick
Cllr Danny Myers, leader of the Labour group, said: “This announcement has to be part of a move towards reforming the second chamber and ultimately giving greater power and influence to the regions, particularly in the north of England.”

“York is a beautiful, historic city and we very much welcome the start of this discussion about the investment and infrastructure that would have to come with a serious move to relocate the House of Lords here.”

Sean Bullick, managing director of tourist body Make It York, said the city would be a “great option” if the House of Lords were to move because of its “excellent connectivity and facilities”.

He added: “For York itself, retaking its traditional role as the capital of the north would be a great opportunity for the city to return to the forefront of political decision-making.”