A bid to challenge the National Railway Museum’s expansion in the courts has been dropped.
The Justice for Leeman Road Community campaign has decided with ‘huge regret’ not to proceed with its legal case against the City of York Council.
Residents launched legal proceedings against the council following the decision to grant the NRM permission to build across Leeman Road, closing off their primary route to and from the city centre.
Dr Paul Clarke, who has been leading the legal process on behalf of residents, said: “It is with huge regret that we have decided not to proceed with our legal case.
“Although we have raised a substantial sum of money from our local residents through our crowdfunding page and we have a group of core backers, we are still a long way off from achieving the funds we need to take us through to the next stage.
“I’m hugely grateful to people who have donated what they could afford to our campaign, particularly given the pressures on household budgets due to the cost-of-living crisis. It has allowed us to engage a team of lawyers to investigate our legal options.
“However, I have been consulting with our barrister over the past couple of days and given the risk that we might not succeed in overturning the decision, I have decided it isn’t fair to ask the community to contribute further during these difficult times.”
Sick and tired
The decision to build a new Central Hall across Leeman Road, and only provide limited access to pedestrians, wheelchair users and cyclists through the museum to the city centre, has caused huge controversy.
Politicians and residents have been highly critical of the NRM’s reluctance to engage with local people about their concerns.
“It is really disappointing that a publicly-owned body like the NRM was not prepared to implement a design that would unite both sides of the museum, as well as retaining a pedestrian and cycle way along the route of Leeman Road.
“But this is not the end. The information we’ve gained from instigating the judicial review process has been invaluable and we will make use of this to pursue other avenues available to us.”
Dr Clarke added: “Residents are sick and tired of commercial interests being put ahead of those of the local community, as is evident from the wide-spread support given to our campaign.”