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Planning and building

Castle Gateway Masterplan

Latest news on Castle Gateway

A planning application for a proposed new public space in the ‘Castle and Eye of York’ area including the space currently used as Castle Car Park was submitted in February 2022.

An online event and a walkabout were held to share more information about the application.

A funding bid for the Castle and Eye of York area was submitted as part of Round Two of the government’s Levelling Up Funding in August 2022. In January 2023 it was announced that the bid was unsuccessful. We remain committed to delivering this transformational project for the benefit of our city and communities. We'll review the business case and consider other internal and external sources of funding. A report will then be taken to the council’s executive to agree the next steps.

We're currently reviewing the business case for the Castle Mills scheme, taking into account the current financial climate and the market in York. This work needs to be completed before any new contractor is procured to complete the detailed design of the apartments and new riverside park.

A decision on the replacement car parking strategy that will allow Castle Car Park to close is due later this year. Officers are collecting data on parking demand to inform this decision, and are exploring alternative options to maximise surface car parking provision at St George’s Field.

The council’s Executive approved an ambitious 'Masterplan' for the Castle Gateway area in April 2018. It balances many views and interests from the public, along with the history and heritage of the area, and the technical, planning and commercial possibilities of the site.

The Masterplan proposed:

  • a multi-storey car park and improved coach park at St George’s Field
  • a development scheme at Castle Mills of apartments including affordable homes, a new public square and a pedestrian/cycle bridge over the Foss to connect Piccadilly to the wider cycle and walking routes cross the city centre
  • the centrepiece of the Masterplan - a new world class public space around some of the country’s most important heritage in the Castle and Eye of York area

The Castle and Eye of York space will replace the Castle car park and will include infrastructure to allow temporary events to be held. The council has committed to providing replacement parking before Castle car park can close.

See information on:


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 of the special architectural and historical qualities of the proposed development area and its immediate surroundings.

The 2010 Central Historic Core Conservation Area Appraisal also has a series of character statements which are relevant to this project.

Since then, a huge amount of progress has been made:


  • The council's Executive approved a high level vision for major developments in Castle Gateway in January.
  • In June BDP were appointed to act as planning consultants.
  • In March, the Castle Gateway Advisory Group was established to bring together local business representatives, interest groups, principal landowners and custodians for this part of the city to help us understand the area's history and how to shape its future.
  • we teamed up with local public engagement experts My Future York to launch My Castle Gateway. They used 'key themes' to set out a series of emerging ideas, which were 'tested with the public' in 2017 through events, web pages, and social media.
  • In December a public open brief was published based on your ambitions and challenges which provided the framework on which the Masterplan is based.



  • My Castle Gateway developed a public Open Brief for the Castle and Eye of York area, published in May 2020


  • the council’s Executive approved work to progress the design and submission of planning applications for a high quality public realm scheme for the Castle and Eye of York area
  • we received planning permission approval for the Castle Mills residential development


  • we gained planning permission approval in January for a new multi-storey car park at St George’s Field
  • through spring and summer 2021, My Castle Gateway engaged people on emerging designs for a new public space which will replace Castle Car Park and the wider Eye of York area


  • in February we submitted a planning application for the Castle and Eye of York area
  • Executive received an update on the Castle Gateway project on 16 June and agreed to a series of recommendations to progress the scheme. Members agreed to procure a new contractor to complete the Castle Mills design and costing process, to allow construction to begin (subject to Executive approval). The decision on whether to build a multi-storey car park at St George’s Field was deferred until Executive has a construction price for Castle Mills
  • the new public realm at Castle and Eye of York was included in the council’s round two Levelling Up Fund bid submitted in August
  • other elements of the Masterplan that could be considered in the future include marketing 17 to 21 Piccadilly to an affordable housing provider (Spark York's lease has been extended whilst the site is sold), and considering new cultural facilities for the Castle Museum


  • in January it was announced that the Round Two Levelling Up Fund bid was unsuccessful; we remain committed to delivering this transformational project and will review the business case and other sources of funding

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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 Masterplan.

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Castle Gateway Vision

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

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Partners update: Clifford's Tower work completed

English Heritage commenced conservation and improvement works to the visitor infrastructure at Clifford’s Tower in November 2020. The project completed and reopened to visitors in April 2022.

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Stay involved with the Castle Gateway Masterplan

Sign up to the My Castle Gateway mailing list to get updates on key dates related to the Castle Gateway planning applications. Follow My Castle Gateway on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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Also see