York Greens welcome plans for public park around Clifford’s Tower

York Green Party welcomes the news that its long-held ambition for a public park around Clifford’s Tower is one step closer to realisation. Plans for the transformation of the Castle Gateway area, which will be discussed by the City of York Council this week, include replacing Castle car park and creating new green spaces in the heart of the city.

Green Party councillor and Deputy Council Leader Andy D’Agorne said: “This is the first step towards realising the vision that helped to get me elected as the first Green councillor in York in 2003, namely a public park around Clifford’s Tower to replace an ugly car park.

“The multi-storey car park proposed will offer far fewer spaces than currently provided but will help to maintain income to the council as well as off-street parking for shoppers (within walking distance of the central area but outside the inner ring road). This makes sense as part of a planned transition to removing non-essential car journeys from central York in the next few years.”

Senior councillors will discuss the proposals at a meeting of the Council Executive on Tuesday 21st January, when they will be asked to consider a range of options to deliver the first phase of the Castle Gateway masterplan. 

The masterplan, which has been developed through extensive engagement with local residents, aims to create new public spaces, riverside walks, pedestrian/cycle bridges, new affordable council homes and commercial space for small businesses.

The report to Executive recommends to progress phase one of the masterplan, which provides the foundation for the development of the entire scheme, and will bring a number of public benefits, including:

  • Replacing Castle car park with a flood-proof multi-storey car park at St George’s Field, allowing new public space to be created around Clifford’s Tower;
  • A new pedestrian cycle crossing over the inner-ring road, and a new bridge over the River Foss;
  • A new public park at the rear of the Castle Museum and a riverside pocket park on Piccadilly;
  • 106 new apartments at Castle Mills, including new affordable Council housing;
  • New commercial spaces suitable for small independent traders or businesses.

Following the council motion passed in December, council officers will shortly be preparing plans for wider consultation on how York can achieve a largely car free city centre but still provide essential vehicle access to premises within the inner ring road.

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