In response to the update paper on the Castle Gateway going to the council’s Executive on Thursday 16th June, York Greens have underlined their support for the new public park and events space (proposed for the current site Castle Car Park) and for their position that the proposed Multi storey car park in St Georges Field is not needed.
Green Party Cllr Denise Craghill, whose Guildhall ward covers much of the Castle Gateway area, says “I really welcome the fact that after so many years of campaigning by York’s residents this area around the iconic Clifford’s Tower and the historic Eye of York is moving very close to being transformed into a fitting setting that will also be a huge new benefit for residents in the area, as well as visitors to the city.
“The final proposal is yet to be determined by Planning Committee and York Greens have called for improvements to include more blue badge parking, more green space and a greater variety of play provision. Overall though, the plans are very exciting. All the evidence on the prospects for UK city centres, (including reports by respected retail commentator Bill Grimsey), underlines that high quality public spaces will be key to supporting future city centre prosperity.”
On the question of ‘replacement parking’ provision, Green Group leader Cllr Andy D’Agorne said “Whilst I appreciate there are concerns from some city centre businesses, we stand by our position that there is now clearly no business case for building a Multi-Storey car park in St George’s Field, with escalating costs underlining the need to focus on delivering the other elements of the Castle Gateway project. We would prefer to make that decision now so that residents and businesses are clear and we can get on with developing a city wide car parking strategy that is consistent with the Climate Emergency and with the forthcoming Sustainable Transport Strategy for York.”
“The proposed car park was a compromise that arose from the extensive Castle Gateway public engagement process where the question was posed as to where replacement parking should be located. Since planning approval for the multi storey car park was granted in Jan 2021, it has become clear that extra spaces (above those expected to remain following flood works) can be provided in the existing St Georges Field surface park meaning there is no longer a financial basis for building new provision.
“Car parks are attractors of car journeys which add to congestion and pollution issues. What matters for businesses and city centre vibrancy is not that we attract cars but that we attract people; both visitors and residents. I am very committed to working with both city centre businesses and other stakeholder groups to ensure we can focus on customers and the total offer, regardless of how they travel to the city centre.”