A Council meeting next week (14th June) will receive an update on plans to replace the Castle car park with an events space.
Contrary to expectations, most of the area would continue to be hard-surfaced. There is provision for a Pagoda style shelter. The useable space is rather less than can be found on the other side of the road in Tower Gardens.
More extensive changes are planned for the Eye of York – which would effectively become become “the rectangle of York” with space being made available for outdoor museum exhibitions.
The report recommends that “the new public realm at the Castle and Eye of York forms part of the
council’s funding bid to central government’s Levelling Up Fund, applications for which close on 18 June 2021″.
The new apartments being built at Castle Mills can’t be occupied before the Castle car park is closed according to a (frankly perverse) planning condition. The Castle car park can’t close until replacement parking has been provided. The Planning Committee has so far refused to approve the provision of a replacement car park.
We expect central government to start reducing its capital spending and borrowing shortly. We doubt whether “nice to have” schemes will get priority over essential infrastructure investment..
No updated business plan is being presented to the meeting next week.
NB. The Council has made no progress on the £5.9 million scheme to redevelop the site currently occupied by “Spark”. They are under pressure to sell the site and use the receipt to avoid unnecessary borrowing which otherwise would be necessary to fund the Castle Mills/car park part of the project.