York Central is the large brownfield site to the west of the city’s railway station, and is a unique opportunity for housing and economic growth in the centre of York. It lies between the A19 and A59 road corridors, and is contained by operational rail lines.
The area contains existing buildings which will be retained which include the National Railway Museum, private housing and businesses. The rest of the site is largely underused, having historically been occupied by the rail industry.
Relocation of the remaining rail site will allow new development to take place. The current proposals include:
- up to 2,500 homes
- up to 112,000m2 of office, leisure and retail uses
A collaborative development partnership which includes ourselves, Network Rail, the National Railway Museum and Homes England is progressing investment and delivery for the site. The site has been designated a Housing Zone as well as an Enterprise Zone and public investment is planned to deliver key infrastructure with a view to de-risk and accelerate this project.
York Central Timeline
- Network Rail commenced the rationalisation of rail uses with completion of their £36 million Workforce Development and Route Operating Centre in 2014
- Enterprise Zone application in autumn 2015
- Under the Enterprise Zone, government business rate incentives will be available for a period of 5 years for commercial occupiers entering the site before April 2022; further information on the detailed scheme of operation will be provided on our business rates reliefs page
- The first stage of Public Consultation for moving the York Central site forward ran from 18 January to 18 February 2016 and sought wider public views on the project to inform development. Read more in the 'Our City' article or view Consultation brochure: Seeking your views to guide development and related York Central consultation material. Also see the National Railway Museum’s vision for transformation. The consultation report was published in July 2016 and will inform work towards the creation of a master plan for the site
- York Central Partnership consulted on access options in summer 2017. See the York Central Partnership website for further information including the full Access Consultation Feedback report. On 15 November 2017, the Council Executive agreed the York Central Partnership recommendation that a western access option be developed for inclusion in the York Central master plan and to undertake further design and legal work to ensure that the final alignment will seek to mitigate the effects of such a route on the Millennium Green and to control costs to ensure deliverability
- York Central Partnership held a series of pop-up events and workshops in January and February 2018 to provide opportunities for York residents and visitors to share their views and aspirations for York Central. The feedback received from these events has helped to shape the evolving master plan, the recent exhibition at the National Railway Museum and engagement events in 'York Central Festival', which ran from 19 March to 29 April 2018. See www.yorkcentral.info and My York Central Events to find out more about the events that took place including walking tours, workshops and guest speakers and a record of comments made so far. ;Feedback from the Festival of York Central from spring 2018 is available in our June 2018 Executive report.
- York Central Partnership hosted open public workshops on movement, master plan and governance, and a drop-in day in July 2018 to talk to people about updates resulting from the consultation in advance of the outline planning application being submitted in August (presentations available to view on York Central Partnership website ). The National Railway Museum also undertook further engagement about their future vision within York Central in July 2018. My York Central held workshops in September 2018 to look at traffic impact and modelling. See My York Central Events for further details.
- York Central Partnership submitted an application for planning permission for York Central in August 2018 which was approved at Planning Committee on 25 March 2019 subject to a Section 106 Agreement and referral to the Secretary of State.
- £77.1 million of funding was secured in the Chancellors’ March 2020 Budget to progress the infrastructure works, completing the identified £155m funding needed for infrastructure works to open up the site for regeneration.
- A reserved matters application for the first phase of infrastructure works, including was approved in November 2020.
- Work began on site clearance in the first phase of infrastructure works in January 2021
York Central - Meeting agendas and minutes
- December 2015 (Executive meeting minutes)
- July 2016 (Executive meeting minutes)
- November 2016 (Executive meeting minutes)
- July 2017 (Executive meeting minutes)
- November 2017 (Executive meeting minutes)
- March 2018 (Executive meeting minutes)
- June 2018 (Executive meeting minutes) including parameter plans
- August 2018 (Executive Leader Decision Session minutes) including design guide
- August 2018 (Executive meeting minutes) decision on the route of an access road, bridge and spine road
- November 2018 (Executive meeting minutes) - York Central Enterprise Zone Investment Case
- January 2019 (Executive agenda and papers) - York Central Partnership Legal Agreement
- 25 March 2019 (Planning Committee agenda) - York Central Outline Planning Application
- 12 November 2020 (Planning Committee agenda) - Reserved Matters Application
- 23 July 2020 (Executive agenda) - maintaining progress
York Central infrastructure works
Following the approval of the Reserved Matters Application in November 2020, the council’s contractors John Sisk & Sons started site clearance works in January 2021.
We have written to all residents whose properties could be affected by the work. You can get regular updates through the Band app.
The initial works include:
- general vegetation clearance across the site on land owned by Network Rail and Homes England
- minimal removal of tree line behind Bishopfields Drive
- removal of redundant track (where possible this material will be re-used or recycled)
- the old and disused concrete works building next to Bishopfields Drive/Phoenix Boulevard
- the disused wagon repair depot on Network Rail land
- the disused Unipart building, adjacent to York Railway Station.
The works require a small number of overnight closures of Leeman Road tunnel to allow overnight delivery of machinery and equipment to the construction site.
These will take place between 11:16pm and 6.00am so that they do not affect any public transport. Diversions will be put in place.
All the work has been approved as part of the planning approval on the site, which included a detailed assessment of the heritage value of the buildings.
More than 300 mature trees will be planted during the next phases of infrastructure works, while the development also includes the largest park in the city for 100 years and areas to encourage biodiversity. City of York Council is also committed to planting 50,000 trees in the city by 2023.
When it was created in 2000, the Millennium Green's lease included a 'take-back' option for a small area of land to allow the York Central regeneration.
Following consultation with local residents in 2018, the Millennium Green Trust agreed a package which includes replacements land, landscaping, upgrades to footpaths and facilities and a payment of £375,000 to secure the Trust’s future.
York Central Community Forum
York Central Community Forum (YCCF) has been set up to provide a sounding board for the site at key stages of the development process. Representatives will consider proposals, and provide feedback to the wider community.
Site visits took place in November 2016 and May 2017, and an 'access options preview' was held in August 2017. See:
YCCF meeting notes are also available to view online:
- YCCF meeting notes February 2017
- YCCF meeting notes June 2017
- YCCF meeting notes October 2017
- YCCF meeting notes December 2017
- YCCF meeting notes January 2018
- YCCF meeting notes February 2018
- YCCF meeting notes March 2018
- YCCF meeting notes May 2018
- YCCF meeting notes June 2018
- YCCF draft meeting notes July 2018
The structure of the community forum is currently under review. The next forum meeting date is yet to be confirmed.
Please note that forum meetings are not open to the public, but you can forward comments to ward member representatives for the locality (Councillor Cannon, Councillor K Taylor, Councillor Kramm and Councillor Crawshaw), or email them to the forum coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Proposals for York Station Front
The York Station Front master plan is based on 8 key features which work together to improve the use of space in front of York Station. The station and surrounding area play a key role in the development of York Central.