Victory for common sense as ugly visitor centre building is abandoned

We reported with incredulity in October 2016 that the plans were set to get the go ahead

Plans to construct a visitor centre next to Clifford’s Tower have been dropped.

The English Heritage plan attracted major opposition from a wide range of organisations and people in the City.

One independent Councillor (Jonny Haynes) even challenged the proposal though the courts.

Now the new head of English Heritage in the north of England is being reported in the media as saying that the plan has been scrapped.

Generally the other proposals for Clifford’s Tower sponsored by EH were welcomed. These included improvements to internal accessibility and repairs to the buildings fabric. In principle, many acknowledged that a visitor centre would enhance the experience for the tourist but the location of the building, immediately adjacent to the iconic mound, was considered by many to be overly intrusive.

The building’s design was described as a combination of  a 1960’s public toilet and the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut in the Valley of the Kings 

The decision offers the opportunity to provide something more appropriate as the Castle Car park area is remodelled over the next few years.

The Clifford’s Tower controversy was one of several lapses of judgement by the York planning committee in recent years. They also nodded through a plan to establish an Arts Barge bar near Skeldergate Bridge despite concerns about alcohol and river safety.

However, in most peoples minds, that will pale when compared to the major blunder made in giving planning permission to  “Container Village” currently blighting the appearance  of Parliament Street.

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