Published Tuesday, 7th August 2018

A decision session with council leaders has marked another important step towards unlocking the potential of the York Central site.

Council leader Ian Gillies and deputy leader Andrew Waller yesterday endorsed the York Central Partnership’s detailed design guide while requesting even higher standards for any development on the 45 hectare site.

This means the council supports the submission of the guidelines into the formal planning process, which will determine whether the council formally accepts the partnership’s proposed guidelines.
Key features of the design guide, which will be used to assess any future planning applications on the site, include:

  • carbon emission standards which will exceed CYC policy requirements by over 10%
  • guidance on achieving a whole site sustainable urban drainage scheme, following best practice and meeting the very high standards set by the environment agency.
  • clear guidance on how to prioritise people and cyclists over vehicles.
  • promoting innovative street types, including new ‘play streets’ and communal rooftop areas
  • guidance on the heights and mass of buildings, and what types of materials are appropriate in the context of the existing historic city.

The councillors made additional requests which would tighten expectations to deliver the highest energy efficiency standards, designing in off-road cycle tracks and promoting pedestrian access, as well as requesting future reports on community facilities within the development.

Councillor Ian Gillies, leader of City of York Council, said:

“This is more great news on York Central – a Brownfield site which can be transformed into a fantastic place to live, work and spend time.

“The York Central Partnership has placed public engagement at the heart of the process to develop these plans, so we’re sure that they will accommodate these changes – all of which respond to feedback we’ve received from voices in York.

“This is an extremely complicated project and we’re delighted with the progress the partnership has made.”

Councillor Andrew Waller, deputy leader of City of York Council, said:

“It is very important that we take sustainability seriously, and live up to all the One Planet York principles.

“The guide is a very encouraging response to the challenge, and today we have asked the partnership to set the bar even higher.

“York Central has the potential to revitalise and invigorate our economy. This design guide is an important step towards not just making it happen, but making it work for the whole of York.

The finalised design guide will be included in an outline planning application, set to be submitted later this week.

Cllr Gillies also took the opportunity to feed back details of some correspondence between the council’s leadership and the National Rail Museum. The Museum detailed its recently–completed engagement exercise over access options, and offered to dedicate more land to accommodate pedestrian and cycle access.


To see a webcast of the meeting go to:


To see the agenda and decision notice, including the draft design guide, go to:


The scheme is being brought forward by the York Central Partnership, a collaborative partnership between Homes England, Network Rail, the City of York Council and The National Railway Museum.

On 21 June 2018 Executive endorsed the submission  by York Central Partners of an outline planning application for York Central on the basis of parameter plans and an Illustrative Masterplan.

The parameter plans are the key elements of the submissions and the illustrative masterplan demonstrates a version of development that complies with these parameters plans.

8.Parameter plans establish the framework for the development and are accompanied by  the Design Guide (the Guide) which will be used to inform and determine future detailed planning applications.

The illustrative masterplan sets out YCP’s indicative scheme within these parameters.  It is a plan of what the site could eventually look like and forms part of the outline planning application, supported by a wide range of documentary evidence setting out such matters as the environmental and transport impacts of the scheme.

9.The outline application provides a comprehensive description of the whole scheme and addresses:

i. Use types

ii. Scale and Massing

iii. Affordable Housing

iv.Transport and Movement

v. Parking provision

vi.Community provision

At this stage the Council decisions have confirmed its endorsement of partners  submitting the Master plan application and supporting documents which include the design guides. The formal planning process will determine if the Council wishes to formally agree that the documents are to be adopted for the regulation of future development and detailed planning applications on the site.

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