Planning and building

Major developments in Castle Gateway

Latest news on Castle Gateway

Design work has started for a proposed new public space in the ‘Castle and Eye of York’ area, including the space currently used as Castle Car Park. Public engagement is underway and will run through Spring and Summer 2021. Details of the events and blogs throughout the design process will be available online.

The Castle Gateway area sits largely within the city walls on the site of the former York Castle where the River Ouse and River Foss meet. The area covers the length of Piccadilly, the Coppergate Shopping Centre, Clifford's Tower and the Eye of Yorkshire, and runs through to St George's Field and the Foss Basin.

An aerial view of the Castle Gateway area.

Aerial view of the Castle Gateway area

The area has great potential in terms of its location, historic and cultural assets, yet also has areas of significant dereliction and underdevelopment. Regeneration will provide an opportunity to develop retail, leisure and residential facilities, which will complement and build on the vitality of the city centre. This will improve the historic setting of Clifford's Tower and the quality of public space and accessibility throughout the area.

In 2006, a planning brief and conservation area appraisal were produced which set out the main design and planning principles for the redevelopment of Castle Piccadilly and provided an understanding the special architectural and historical qualities of the proposed development area and its immediate surroundings; the 2010 Central Historic Core Conservation Area Appraisal has a series of character statements which are also relevant to this project.

The council's Executive approved a high level vision for major developments in Castle Gateway in January 2017. Since then through the My Castle Gateway project, events, web pages, and social media we've explored the vision and gained an understanding of what you’d like to see, do, change and protect about the area. The public said they wanted to:

  • come together at a new public space that connects Clifford's Tower, the Eye of York and Tower Gardens, for events, protests and commemorations
  • understand and explore the layered histories of the area
  • enjoy the River Foss and the River Ouse - to be able to walk and cycle by them into town
  • be able to sit and see the River Foss and appreciate its wildlife
  • move easily and safely around the area on foot or bike, and to connect in routes beyond
  • see independent businesses and community arts thrive
  • see traffic and parking dealt with in ways which do not conflict with other uses of the area

Your ambitions and challenges shaped BDP's 'Master plan' for Castle Gateway, which was presented at the council's Executive meeting in April 2018 - full details of the Castle Gateway Master plan are available, as part of the Executive report. These 'key themes' were used to set out a series of emerging ideas, which were 'tested with the public' in November and December 2017 through events, web pages, and social media and resulted in an updated 'public brief' for the area, so the resulting 'Castle Gateway Master plan' is a direct response to the public's vision for the area.

Castle Gateway Advisory Group

Alongside the My Castle Gateway process, the Castle Gateway Advisory Group has brought significant experience, expertise and critical challenge to the project. Consisting of key stakeholders, partners and statutory consultees such as Historic England, Environment Agency and York Museums Trust the group has provided constant feedback on the emerging proposals to help refine the final version; they are fully supportive of the principles set out in the Master plan.

Castle Gateway timeline

Since reporting to Executive in January 2017 we have:

  • prepared a Castle Gateway draft Area of Opportunity policy for the Local Plan
  • appointed BDP to act as master-planning consultants and Deloitte as commercial advisors
  • brought together local business representatives, local interest and community groups on the Castle Gateway Advisory Group to help us understand the area's history and how to shape its future
  • teamed up with local public engagement experts My Future York to launch My Castle Gateway and published a brief based on the ideas fed back
  • provided the framework on which the ideas for the Castle Gateway regeneration area are based
  • explored emerging 'Castle Gateway Ideas' via social media, online feedback and a series of public events
  • used the feedback on these emerging ideas to produce a preferred 'Castle Gateway Master plan'
  • developed a Castle and Eye of York area Open Brief through 2019 and published in May 2020
  • received planning permission approval for the Castle Mills residential development in December 2020
  • gained planning permission approval for a new multi-storey car park at St George’s Field in January 2021
  • commenced engagement on a new public space in the Castle and the Eye of York area below Clifford’s Tower through events and blogs, which will continue through Spring and Summer 2021.

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