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.
“Events bring residents ideas to life on public spaces”
The Council has issued the following statement about (still more) consultation events about the future of the Eye of York and the Castle car park area. The Council is pursuing its “world class open space” vision which involves the closure of York’s best used car park.
The current concern is that if people shun the City centre, or it simply becomes a regional “playground”, then we could end up with a world class empty space.
The Council is currently waiting to see whether central government will stump up the cost of the project.
An announcement is expected towards the end of next week. One of the designs that has been leaked suggests that a highly imaginative approach can be expected.
The Council says “My Castle Gateway continues to put residents views at the heart of plans to transform the car park, Eye of York and the wider area.
Run in partnership with local group My Future York, it has led to bold plans being put forward to transform the area, including creating community and business space on Piccadilly, new walkways and cycle-routes, and a bridge over the Foss.
The engagement approach returns this month, as designers BDP explore the options for the world class public space around Clifford’s Tower and Eye of York.
Residents are invited to join the conversation on social media or attend online events to explore options to deliver some of the big themes from the community brief: