City of York Council has submitted plans to transform the castle car park, Eye of York and the wider area into a new, world-class public space.
The plans have been designed by landscape architects at BDP and include ambitious proposals to transform the Castle Gateway area. As part of the planning process, these plans are now available for viewing and comments.
The newly unveiled design follows the open community brief produced in 2019, which set out ideas submitted by residents on the future use of the space. The design concepts and evolving ideas were tested with the public throughout 2021.
The plans include:
- A new open space to gather, play and enjoy the fountains and also host large scale events throughout the year
- A park will transform the Foss riverside, and create a new link behind the Castle Museum into Castle Gardens and the new bridge to Castle Mills
- A path around the base of Clifford’s Tower will allow people to walk around the motte, and also serve as an act of remembrance to commemorate the 1190 Jewish massacre
- The Eye of York, will retain the central oak tree and lawn, whilst increasing biodiversity, providing seating and a performance space for music, theatre and public speaking
- A route through the former car park area will reinstate the historic Castlegate approach that linked the city with the castle area
- Tower Street will become a shared space for pedestrians and cars, with blue badge parking provided
- New landscaping will create a feeling that you have arrived into a new place and will also create different qualities of space, from reflective and peaceful to lively and playful.
Cllr Denise Craghill said “In York Green Party we have been campaigning for many years for a proper public park around Clifford’s Tower and the Eye of York. This planning application is the result of a 3 year ground breaking consultation process run by independent local consultancy ‘My Future York’. This involved many different York residents in many different ways, creating a Public Brief for the designers based on what people wanted to be able to do in the space. We are very pleased with the plan which will see the extremely ugly car park that surrounds Clifford’s Tower replaced with a combination of riverside walkways, informal play space, run through fountains, gardens and public performance spaces. The Public Brief included key asks to include plenty of options for people to spend time there without having to spend money and for green spaces to connect up through the site, as well as commemorating the history of the area and providing a fitting setting for Clifford’s Tower and the Castle Museum. It is very exciting to see this application finally being brought forwards by the current Green/Lib Dem administration.”