Update on the planning application for St Georges Field Car Park
Andy Kerr, CYC Head of Regeneration Programmes will give a detailed outline of the planning application.
Andy Kerr gave an update of the planning application for St George’s Field Car Park (which has now been submitted). He referred to the master plan and the importance of the advisory group which has been key in shaping proposals and providing constructive scrutiny. The master plan was approved in April 2018 and funding has been allocated to secure planning permission.
Andy Kerr then discussed the importance of public engagement through ‘My Castle Gateway’ which has encouraged local participation through local walks, discussion groups and social media. Residents have particularly enjoyed learning about social history. A total of 6,000 ‘post it’ notes have now been collected and photographed.
The planning application is for a new four storey car park at St George’s Field (which will include electric charging points, roof top photo-voltaics and green wall solutions) and the creation of landscaped public space with improvement pedestrian and cycle path along New Walk. The development of the multi-storey car park allows for the closure of Castle Car Park, to be replaced by new high quality public realm and event.
Also due to be submitted is a planning application for the Castle Mills site on Piccadilly. This development is the main source of funding for the development of the multi-storey car park. As well as the residential apartments on the Castle Mills site, this application will include a riverside walk and landscaped gardens to the rear of the museum and a pedestrian and cycle bridge over the Foss.
English Heritage has abandoned plans to build a visitor centre and is keen to work closely with City of York Council to share solutions to the new development.
Andy Kerr then outlined the many technical challenges encountered with regard to St George’s Field Car Park which include the following constraints:-
· Electric cables
· Flooding (which will require raising a new flood wall and access ramp)
· Access for a crane on the site
· Conservation area
· Key heritage sites
Following the presentation there was an opportunity for those attending to ask further questions.
Question: Will there be potential dead space near Skeldergate?
Answer: Andy Kerr confirmed that all options had been carefully considered and the area from the original flood wall running alongside Tower Street in to Skeldergate Bridge is proposed landscaping that would provide a pleasant space with additional tree planting. He went on to say that as the site is in a basin, it is already well camouflaged by trees.
There will be a featured staircase on the outside of St George’s Car Park which would take advantage of lovely views and provide access at every level. The car park would be accessed on the first floor and the lower floor would be closed during periods of flooding. Owing to a recent change in building regulations wood cladding is no longer an option (although other natural material could be used instead). The roof space may be utilised for a variety of uses (i.e. pop up facilities, Shopmobility, pram hire). Residents who wish to make further comments can do so in person or on line. The planning reference number is 19/02063/FULM.
Question: How many car parking spaces will be available?
Answer: Andy Kerr confirmed that there were originally 400 parking spaces (until the discovery of a sewer which resulted in a revision of the plans). The current application proposes 370 parking spaces (a reduction of 100 following the closure of Castle Car Park).
Question: How much will the scheme cost and what will happen if the application is refused?
Answer: Andy Kerr confirmed a cost of £14 million which would be dependent on the Castle Mills development being approved. If planning was not approved the whole project would be at risk. He also confirmed that the Castle Car Park would be closed after the completion of St George’s Field Car Park.
Question: Will Castle Mills be sold to a developer?
Answer: Andy Kerr confirmed that City of York Council will build (and take on the risks associated with) Castle Mills in order to retain the full value (as opposed to selling the site to a developer). An executive decision relating to Castle Mills is due in December 2019.
Question: Will the proposed pedestrian/cycle crossing be able to accommodate large coach parties?
Answer: Andy Kerr confirmed that large groups would be taken into account (including the impact on traffic if all lanes are required to stop to allow pedestrians/cyclists to cross).
Question: When will St George’s Car Park be completed?
Answer: Andy Kerr estimated completion at the end of 2021.
Question: Why do the plans not include a right turn into Piccadilly?
Answer: Andy Kerr confirmed that this was originally an option but following more detailed modelling it was considered to cause more delay and expense (which outweighed the benefits).