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Planning and building

Castle Gateway Masterplan - Multi-storey car park at St George's Field

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 has been submitted.

We held two events to share more about the application in February 2022, an online event and a walkabout.

A funding bid for the Castle and Eye of York area will be submitted as part of Round Two of the government’s Levelling Up Funding, with successful bids due to be announced in autumn 2022.

A contractor will be procured to complete the detailed design of the apartments and new riverside park at Castle Mills, with work due to commence in autumn 2023.

A decision on the replacement car parking strategy that will allow Castle Car Park to close is due in summer 2023.

A multi-storey car park on St George’s Field is the first essential development to deliver the centrepiece of the Castle Gateway Masterplan – replacing the Castle Car park with public space around Eye of York and Clifford’s Tower.

The design is based on the brief created through engagement by My Castle Gateway for the development of St George’s Field which:

  • tells the rich history of St George’s Field
  • establishes a new arrival point for York
  • reinstates the ‘field’ through public realm and green space which draw people in and encourage them to stop and enjoy the spaces
  • improves pedestrian and cycle routes to the rest of the city
  • creates a multi-storey car park which responds sensitively to its surroundings
  • uses materials which complement the natural environment
  • has quiet, peaceful areas for reflection
  • makes the most of the amazing views from the car park’s top deck

A four-storey car park at St George's Field is needed to replace the parking spaces which would be lost on the current Castle Car Park, and would be funded through the new residential apartment developments on the site of the demolished Castle Mills Car Park.

See more information on:

An artist's impression of car park building at St George's Field.

Artist's impression of car park building at St George's Field

Developments at St George's Field

There are several major challenges that we have to deal with to undertake development of St George's Field:

  • the footprint of the car park is shaped by existing flood walls
  • leaving access to the Foss Flood Barrier
  • electric cables
  • two major sewer pipes
  • the footprint of a Medieval Church

Because of these challenges, the footprint of the car park proposal is smaller than we originally hoped; therefore we've added an extra layer to get the right number of decent-sized parking bays needed to close Castle Car Park.

The new multi-storey car park will provide 372 large modern car parking spaces and 25 neighbouring surface level coach parking bays. This will reduce the number of parking spaces in the city centre by around 100 and remove the journeys associated with Castle Car Park outside the inner ring road.

Access to the car park would be at first floor level, meaning the car park can continue to be used in times of flood. We're proposing to use natural materials and green walls to fit with the existing high quality environment. An external 'feature staircase' will make the most of the amazing new views of Clifford's Tower and the city beyond.

Final plans at St George's Field

See the vision for the multi-storey car park at St George's Field.

We've made some key decisions following engagement in early March:

  • cladding - there were mixed views about the claddings, so we've chosen horizontal cladding as it allows more natural light in and better views out to the city - due to new building regulations, terracotta has been chosen as replacement over the original timber proposed to keep the same natural look and feel
  • the top deck - we're including a solar canopy that covers part of the top deck instead of leaving this open
  • ground floor - open access to the ground floor will give customers immediate access to the new public spaces; and will ensure a quicker clean up after a flood ever - measures are being taken to create a safe car park, including CCTV and security patrols
  • toilets - provide 4 unisex toilet cubicles, including parent/child and disabled facilities

St George’s Field has had many uses. We want to reinstate the ‘field’ using greenery which draws people in and encourages them to stop and enjoy the spaces. We have to use materials which won't be damaged when the area floods (regularly, up to 6 times a year) which means tough, easily cleanable surfaces and hardy vegetation. The pedestrian and cycle links will allow and encourage more journeys into and through the Castle Gateway area, linking the historic centre.

We've worked with cycle groups to get the best infrastructure on a tight site.

A new pedestrian and cyclist crossing would cross the inner ring road, connecting the two sides of Castle Gateway and reducing the dominance of cars. The detailed Design of this is being modelled and will be finalised once permission is granted for St Georges Field multi-storey car park.

An artists impression of the main entrance to St Georges Field.

Artists impression of the main entrance to St Georges Field


A planning application was submitted in September 2019 for a multi-storey car park on St George's Field. You can view the St George's Field planning application via the Planning Portal quoting reference number 19/02063/FUL.

We asked for your comments on the initial plans for St George's Field in March 2020, and shared the final designs based on your feedback in June 2020 at events, online and through social media. Our drop-in events featured an exhibition of the proposals and the opportunity to talk to our team about the plans.

On 19 November 2020, Planning Committee asked for more information regarding St George’s Field multi-storey car park and deferred the decision. This information was provided, and the planning application was approved on 7 January 2021.

You can view the webcasts of the Planning Committee meetings from Thursday 19 November 2020 and Thursday 7 January 2021.

On 18 November 2021 the council’s Executive considered a report on the strategic review of city centre access and parking that was undertaken this summer.

In June 2022 the council’s Executive received an update on the Castle Gateway project and agreed that the decision on whether to build a multi-storey car park at St George’s Field be deferred until Executive has a construction price for Castle Mills (summer 2023).

The time will be used to collect more car parking data, engage further with city centre stakeholders, and assess all options to identify the most suitable replacement parking solution for the closure of Castle Car Park.

The council has committed to providing replacement parking before Castle Car Park can close. At the masterplan stage this was proposed to be a multi-storey car park at St George’s Field. However, a decision on the replacement car parking strategy is now under review.

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