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Agenda item

York Central Partnership Update

The Corporate Director of Economy & Place to present a report which provides an update on the partnership promoting the York Central site and responds to the decision of the Secretary of State not to call in the planning decision made on the site, seeking approval to submit a Reserved Matters planning application for the first phase of enabling infrastructure.

 

Note:This item has been included on the Forward Plan under statutory urgency procedures, as it involves a key decision and has been on the Forward Plan for less than 28 days.  The reason for the urgency is the need torespond to the decision by the Secretary of State not to call in the planning decision and to consider the financial options to continue project work, within timescales, in the absence of an Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) decision.

Decision:

Resolved:  (i)      That Option 2 be approved, and £750k be allocated to fund Early Contract Involvement (ECI), further design work and finalisation of a Reserved Matters Application (RMA) for the first phase of infrastructure, including the primary access into the site, new bridge / spine road, drainage, construction of an additional pedestrian and cycle deck onto Severus Bridge and construction of a new rail connection between the NRM and the East Coast Main Line (ECML), to be funded partly from the allocated York Central CYC capital budget (£451k) and Homes England funding (£335k).

 

(ii)      That the £1.25m budget provision previously agreed specifically for early site works be cancelled, with this funding now returned to the remaining unallocated funding for York Central.

 

(iii)     That approval be given to seek financial contributions towards the budget for up front design work from York, North Yorkshire and East Riding (YNYER) Local Economic Partnership (LEP), Leeds City Region (LCR) LEP and YCP ahead of the agreement for HIF funding.

 

(iv)    That the decision to undertake the further design works outlined in Option 3, over and above those set out in Option 2, be delegated to the Deputy Chief Executive in consultation with the Executive Leader, subject to the agreement of additional funds from YNYER LEP, LCR LEP, YCP or the award of HIF funding.

 

(v)     That the final sign-off of the RMA for the delivery of the Phase 1 infrastructure be delegated to the Director of Economy and Place in consultation with the Executive Leader and Deputy Leader.

 

Reason:     To ensure the delivery of York Central and to provide funding to enable the progression of the detailed design and planning for a new access route to York Central within the timescale of available grant funding.

 

(vi)    That a further report be brought back to Executive setting out options and proposals to include York Central in the bus Clean Air Zone.

 

(vii)    That, at the earliest point, the council work to deliver a new Bus Lane to become an integral part of the ph1 Infrastructure, ahead of the timescale required by S.106 conditions; this could be built at the same time as the spine road is constructed, improving bus journey times from day 1.

 

(viii)   That further consultation be carried out with local communities, residents and visitors to the site, via a ‘MyYorkCentral’ style of consultation.

 

(ix)    That the current Occupier Strategy be reviewed to ensure that commercial spaces encourage clean growth and help contribute to carbon reduction in the city.

 

(x)     That all the areas of opportunity to secure greater social economic and environmental benefits to the city indicated under paragraph 36 of the report be endorsed, and that these areas be explored in greater detail in order to secure those improvements.

 

Reason:     To ensure that the social, environmental and economic benefits of York Central are delivered and are strongly influenced by community engagement.

Minutes:

The Assistant Director for Regeneration & Asset Management presented a report which gave an update on the York Central Partnership (YCP), responded to the decision of the Secretary of State not to call in the planning decision taken on the York Central site and sought approval to submit a Reserved Matters application for the first phase of the enabling infrastructure. 

 

This item had been added to the agenda under statutory urgency procedures, as it involved a key decision and had been on the Forward Plan for less than 28 days.  The reason for the urgency was the need to respond to the Secretary of State’s decision, and consider financial options to continue work on the project, within timescales, in the absence of a decision by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) on the application for £77.1m from the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF).

 

Members considered three options to proceed beyond July, as summarised below and detailed in paragraphs 17-24 of the report:

Option 1 – mothball the project until HIF funding was announced (cost: £300k to November).  Not recommended, as the delay could increase the risk of cost escalation to an unacceptable level.

Option 2 – undertake ECI through a PSC contract and finalise the RMA (cost: £750k to end of November). This was the recommended option.

Option 3 – continue the Full Design work at risk (cost: £2.3m to December).  Not recommended, due to the significant cost increase.

It was also proposed that the £1.25m approved to release for early enabling works (Minute 92 of the Executive meeting on 17 January 2019 refers), remain unallocated until there was certainty on external funding.  A further report would be brought to Executive in the autumn to consider plans beyond November 2019.

 

Details of the scheme’s intrinsic social, environmental and economic benefits, including improvements to sustainable transport, would be secured through conditions on the outline planning permission and a comprehensive S106 agreement.  Meanwhile officers would continue their dialogue with YCP to explore opportunities to amplify these benefits and report back to Executive, as set out in paragraph 36.

 

Members broadly welcomed the report and, having detailed some additions to the recommendations and noted the comments made under Public Participation, it was

 

Resolved:  (i)      That Option 2 be approved, and £750k be allocated to fund Early Contract Involvement (ECI), further design work and finalisation of a Reserved Matters Application (RMA) for the first phase of infrastructure, including the primary access into the site, new bridge / spine road, drainage, construction of an additional pedestrian and cycle deck onto Severus Bridge and construction of a new rail connection between the NRM and the East Coast Main Line (ECML), to be funded partly from the allocated York Central CYC capital budget (£451k) and Homes England funding (£335k).

 

(ii)      That the £1.25m budget provision previously agreed specifically for early site works be cancelled, with this funding now returned to the remaining unallocated funding for York Central.

 

(iii)     That approval be given to seek financial contributions towards the budget for up front design work from York, North Yorkshire and East Riding (YNYER) Local Economic Partnership (LEP), Leeds City Region (LCR) LEP and YCP ahead of the agreement for HIF funding.

 

(iv)    That the decision to undertake the further design works outlined in Option 3, over and above those set out in Option 2, be delegated to the Deputy Chief Executive in consultation with the Executive Leader, subject to the agreement of additional funds from YNYER LEP, LCR LEP, YCP or the award of HIF funding.

 

(v)     That the final sign-off of the RMA for the delivery of the Phase 1 infrastructure be delegated to the Director of Economy and Place in consultation with the Executive Leader and Deputy Leader.

 

Reason:     To ensure the delivery of York Central and to provide funding to enable the progression of the detailed design and planning for a new access route to York Central within the timescale of available grant funding.

 

(vi)    That a further report be brought back to Executive setting out options and proposals to include York Central in the bus Clean Air Zone.

 

(vii)    That, at the earliest point, the council work to deliver a new Bus Lane to become an integral part of the ph1 Infrastructure, ahead of the timescale required by S.106 conditions; this could be built at the same time as the spine road is constructed, improving bus journey times from day 1.

 

(viii)   That further consultation be carried out with local communities, residents and visitors to the site, via a ‘MyYorkCentral’ style of consultation.

 

(ix)    That the current Occupier Strategy be reviewed to ensure that commercial spaces encourage clean growth and help contribute to carbon reduction in the city.

 

(x)     That all the areas of opportunity to secure greater social economic and environmental benefits to the city indicated under paragraph 36 of the report be endorsed, and that these areas be explored in greater detail in order to secure those improvements.

 

Reason:     To ensure that the social, environmental and economic benefits of York Central are delivered and are strongly influenced by community engagement.

Supporting documents:

 

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