Acomb War Memorial restoration faces competition from Scarcroft School

The York Civic Trust has announced a “peoples vote” which will decide which of 5 City Enhancement projects will get the “go ahead”.

Generally we think that involving people in making choices like this is a good thing. However we had been led to understand that the York Civic Trust had already agreed to lead on the restoration of the Acomb War Memorial.

It appears not, as it is one of 5 schemes now competing for “peoples” votes.

Thus doubt has been cast on a scheme which it was intended should be completed by the November anniversary of the end of World War One. A local group (WW1 Acomb) had been set up to lead on local commemoration activities but had stood down from the War Memorial project when the Civic Trust said that they had adopted it. 

The five schemes competing for votes, which vary wildly in cost, are:

  • Acomb Green: Conservation and repairs to the War Memorial
  • Monk Bar: Reinstatement of portcullis to working order
  • Monk Bar: Conservation of Ice House
  • Museum Street Water Fountain:
  • Scarcroft School: Reinstatement of timber finial posts to bell tower

More details can be found here

The vote closes at 5:00pm, 25th June 2018

We think that the City Enhancement Programme is one of the best initiatives that has taken place in the City in recent years.  However the organisers perhaps need to reflect on the need to make decisions in a timely way and to encourage participation from all parts of the City.

What’s on in York: Lecture about Arnold Rowntree

York Civic Trust have some interesting events scheduled for March and on into the summer.

Not least, is a lecture on the life and work of Arnold Rowntree who was the Liberal MP for York during the time of the First World War.

The event is taking place at the Merchant Adventures Hall on Wednesday 14th March

For details on how to join the York Civic Trust please click this link

Terrys clock tower set to get permission for flats conversion

The York Council is set to approve plan to turn the former Terry’s clock tower into 22 apartments.

terrys-clock-towerThe plan – to be considered on 5th January – also involves providing space for a museum and associated car parking.

It is proposed to convert the building for residential use incorporating 19 one, two and three bedroom apartments within the existing building and a further three within the northern roof top extension (to the boiler house) which would be executed in structural glazing.

The upper clock chamber has been made over by the applicant to provide a museum and viewing space to provide interpretive material in respect of the development of chocolate manufacture at the site. The clock would also be reinstated.

The Clock Tower comprises a substantial brick and art stone detailed, Grade II Listed, structure with an attached two storey boiler house.

It occupies a prominent location within the Terry’s/Racecourse Conservation Area. It formerly acted as a chimney and boiler house to support the manufacture of chocolate and confectionery at the Terry’s site from construction in the 1920s until manufacture ceased in 2006.

Officials say, “The building is on the “Heritage at Risk” register. Unfortunately no commercial or leisure occupier has been found to “save” the building in spite of a long and extensive marketing exercise. The height and configuration of the accommodation, its location within the body of the site, and the cost of essential repair-work have been cited by potential occupiers as reasons for lack of viability for a commercial or mixed use scheme. The over-riding consideration is finding a new use that would sustain the heritage significance of the building”.

“The scheme would rescue this building at risk which is a much valued and prominent York landmark”

Only eight objections to the proposal have been received by the Council although one is from the Civic Trust.

Glimmer of hope for anti Cliffords Tower visitor centre campaigners

...& the planning committee decided to approve the new visitor centre at Clifford's Tower. A decision which promoted derision in some quaters

It looks like residents will get a second chance to block the proposed Clifford’s Tower Visitor Centre.

It has been revealed today that the York Council will have to agree to sell a small area of land to English Heritage if the centre is to be built.

The Council’s Executive is scheduled to consider the sale at its meeting on 7th December.

It is widely believed in the City that the project went through the planning process without its implications being properly understood by most residents.

Now the Council has the opportunity to put matters right.

Several thousand residents have signed petitions criticising the design of the visitor centre which has widely been described as resembling a Public Convenience block .

Other aspects of the project – which would see Clifford’s Tower itself become much more accessible to visitors – have received  higher levels of public support.

Campaigners will be hoping that the centre can be redesigned -and possibly realigned – to reduce its visual impact on the ancient monument.