New multi-story car park isn’t “a done deal” vows Green Party councillor

view of proposed multi-storey car park for St Georges Fields

New multi-story car park isn’t “a done deal” vows Green Party councillor as she demands City of York Council focus on assessing need for car parking before moving ahead with controversial plans at St. George’s Field.

City of York Council submitted an application to build the new five-storey car park, with 372 spaces at St. George’s Field which was approved at a planning committee last night.

But Councillor Rosie Baker has demanded to know why a review of parking in the city centre has not been completed before this application was submitted so councillors could assess whether a new car park is needed.

Councillor Baker said, “Council officers have made very bold statements about how necessary this car park is but have not provided the evidence to back up these claims.

“We still don’t have a very clear assessment of whether this car park is necessary, if this is the best place in the city for it to be located or if it needs to be the size and number of storeys that is being proposed.

“We asked for this information the last time this was brought before a planning committee but the Council has just resubmitted it without this additional information.

“We have all seen the change in all of our habits over the last twelve months and combined with the investment in public transport and the improvements we have delivered to infrastructure for walking and cycling we just don’t know whether the demand for car parking in the city centre will be the same as it was before the pandemic.

Green Party Councillor Denise Craghill, a councillor for Guildhall Ward, who sat on the planning meeting decided to abstain on the vote.

At the committee meeting she said I think that we need to get beyond the idea that people only buy things from businesses, hospitality venues and visitor attractions if they arrive in a car. What is important is that they arrive and they enjoy and engage with our city centre.

We also have a commitment to achieving ambitious climate change targets and a commitment to supporting sustainable transport options given that around a third of our local carbon emissions come from transport.”

Councillor Baker is also keen to stress that now the application has been approved that the matter is not resolved.

She said, “Whilst planning permission has now been granted the car park still isn’t a done deal. Senior Councillors must still give the final go ahead for this to happen.

“I will be insisting that we see an in-depth parking capacity study before the Executive makes the final decision on how to proceed in the Summer.”

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