Corporate Services, Climate Change and Scrutiny Management Committee

27 November 2023


Report of the Corporate Director of Place

York Central Update


1.           The Corporate Services, Climate Change and Scrutiny Management Committee have requested an update on York Central.  This is a short covering report to introduce the item, which will be supplemented by a Presentation, Annex 1, and a verbal update at the Scrutiny meeting itself.


2.           The delivery of York Central has been a council ambition for decades, with the site considered integral to planning for the future of the city.  There have been evolving planning policy positions through the late 1990’s and early 2000’s and there was a failed attempt at a commercial redevelopment where Network Rail had selected a preferred developer just ahead of the financial crash of 2007/8.


3.           The turning point came in 2015 when the council approved development funding and also secured One Public Estate (OPE) funding to appoint a project manager on behalf of the York Central Partnership – Homes England, Network Rail (the majority landowners) NRM and City of York Council.


4.           A period of intense project development activity followed; an access options report was agreed by Exec in 2017, paving the way for the development of an outline masterplan and the submission of an outline planning application in Aug 2018, that was formally approved in December 2019.  This masterplan sets the parameters for development with an anticipated build out over 10-15 years.




5.           The key York Central metrics are illustrated here, demonstrating the significant economic, housing and transport benefits that the project will deliver for the city and wider region –


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6.           The Outline Planning approval was followed by the first reserved matters application for the key access infrastructure: a bridge over the ECML at Water End; with a spine road and dedicated / segregated pedestrian and cycle routes running through the site and ultimately joining Leeman Road at the head of the Leeman Road tunnel linking to the city centre.  This application was approved in Nov 2019.


7.           The progress of the York Central project is documented by the 11 Executive reports listed in the background papers section of the report below spanning the period 2017 – 2022.



8.           There was significant engagement with public, residents, and communities through the My York Central project specifically in the early part of 2018 as the masterplan options were developed. There were also specific engagements on the infrastructure and NRM Central Hall application with a Public Inquiry on the Stopping up of Leeman Road.


9.           More recently when Home England assumed the delivery lead there has been further engagement on the next stages of delivery with public engagement in January and March around the new public square – Museum Square, currently the subject of a live planning application and there have been further public information sessions, including archaeological discovery days, over the summer and Autumn with latest information available here -



10.        This section is not applicable to this covering report as there are no options being presented to the Scrutiny meeting.  




11.        This section is not applicable to this covering report as there are no options presented.



Current Position


12.        The current position and some of the key project interdependencies are summarised in the presentation attached at annex 1.


13.        The project has finally reached point where vision is becoming a reality.  All the project development work undertaken to date has been fundamental to securing the benefits that York Central will now deliver for the city.


Recent timeline  -


·        Outline Planning Approval – Dec 2019

·        Funding confirmed to Homes England – Sept 2020

·        Reserved Matters App – Infrastructure – Nov 2020

·        Enabling works completed by CYC – May 2022

·        NRM Central Hall – planning consent - Aug 2022

·        Main infrastructure works commenced – Sept 2022

·        Additional EZ support – subject to Devolution – July 2023

·        Developer Partner announcement – Nov 2023

·        Announcement of Developer / Investor Partner – Nov 2023

Key future dates – (subject to change)


·        First Office Planning Application – Dec 2023

·        Determination of Museum Square Planning Application – Jan 2024

·        First sections of new access infrastructure open – spring / summer 2024

·        Completion of access infrastructure works – summer / autumn 2026

·        First office occupation spring 2027



Council Plan / Local Plan


14.        The delivery is York Central is key to the future of the city.


15.        The “One City, for all” 2023-27 Council Plan sets out clear priorities and the delivery of York Central will contribute to significantly to these, including:

Economy and good employment: A fair, thriving, green economy for all - York Central will provide over 1 million square feet of Grade A office space which will help local businesses grow within the city as well as attract inward investment from other locations, providing the growth needs of the city for the next 10 years. This will also help create 6,500 jobs, boosting the local economy in the city as well as supporting graduate retention rates and offering more employment opportunities within the city, rather than people needing to relocate to find work.  The development will also ensure that the world’s largest railway museum can continue to grow and provide visitors with a world call experience.

Transport: Sustainable accessible transport for all
York Central will prioritise pedestrians and cyclists with excellent public transport, creating convenient and safe pedestrian and cycle access through the site to the city centre, railway station and surrounding communities and linking into citywide footpaths and cycle ways, to enjoy the wider York environment


Housing: Increasing the supply of affordable housing
Local people will benefit from the construction of up to 2,500 new homes across a range of types from first time buyer homes to homes for older people, including 20% affordable. The provision of this number of homes can help to make York a more affordable place to live.

Sustainability: Cutting carbon, enhancing the environment for our future The project will deliver extensive new public spaces including a new public park for the city, supporting bio-diversity net gain and climate change adaptation.


16.        The delivery of York Central is also a key economic growth component of the draft York Local Plan, providing the location for office space (up to 88,000m2) and new homes – up to 2500 - with 20% affordable over the life of the development.




17.        There are no implications from this report as it is only a project update for Scrutiny at this stage.

Risk Management


18.        This is an update report to Scrutiny only, with no decisions required.

19.        This is a complex partnership project.  A risk register is maintained by the delivery partners, which is actively managed through the project governance processes.



20.        That Corporate Services, Climate Change and Scrutiny Management Committee receives the York Central update with a further update scheduled in March 2024

Reason: To keep the committee updated on this key project for the city.







Contact Details


Head of Regeneration, David Warburton




Chief Officer Responsible for the report:   


Housing, Economy & Regeneration


Neil Ferris

Corporate Director of Place



Report Approved











Specialist Implications Officer(s) Not applicable



Wards Affected: 






For further information please contact the author of the report



Background Papers:


Previous Executive Reports:


15 November 2017- York Central – Preferred Access Route and Preparation for Planning

15 March 2018 York - Central - York Central Access Construction

21June 2018 - York Central Master Plan and Partnership Agreement

30 August 2018 - York Central Update - Western Access

29 November 2018 - York Central Enterprise Zone Investment Case

17 January 2019 - York Central Partnership Legal Agreement

18 July 2019 - York Central Partnership Update

24 October 2019 - York Central Update

23 July 2020 - York Central Update

22 April 2021 - York Central and York Station Gateway Update

21 April 2022 - York Central Enterprise Zone Funding Agreement





Annex 1     York Central Update Presentation