Published Monday, 13th January 2020

Council leaders are set to consider the next steps to secure public access, better cycle and pedestrian paths and other local priorities for the former Bootham Park hospital site.

Council leaders are set to consider the next steps to secure public access, better cycle and pedestrian paths and other local priorities for the former Bootham Park hospital site.

A report published ahead of next Tuesday’s Executive meeting outlines the options available to the council, based on local priorities and potential benefits identified during the extensive public and stakeholder engagement process.

The council has been working closely with health partners to influence future development on the site.  These efforts are set to be rewarded, with the site’s current and future owners due to talk with the council about public access, cycle paths, retaining more of the sale receipt locally and other priorities of York residents.   

NHS Property Services have today announced that they have appointed retirement living providers Enterprise Retirement Living (ERL) as the preferred purchaser.

ERL’s proposal to provide a 125 unit independent living retirement community would secure public access to parts of the 1777 John Carr designed grade 1 hospital building, including the boardroom, gym and bowling alley.

With air ambulance landing site and NHS use of the Chapel set to continue, ERL and NHS Property Services (NHS PS) are set to ‘positively engage’ with the council over other key requests identified during recent consultations to influence the future of the site including public use of the Parkland.

Councillor Nigel Ayre, Executive Member for Finance and Performance, said:

“This is a very recent development but the nature of the proposals, and the willingness to talk, are positive starting points and vindicates our decision to plan for the future of this important site and press for benefits for the city.

“The extensive consultation over Bootham Park’s future confirmed its huge significance to the local community and the wider city. We are determined to respect that heritage and make sure that the site continues to play a part in meeting York’s 21st century needs.

“Despite not owning the site, we’ve worked together with local health partners to engage residents, lobby Government and talk to developers to influence its future development.

“This announcement shows the approach is having an impact. I’d like to thank all our partners for the hard work to date, and reassure York residents that we’ll work positively with ERL and NHS PS to get the best possible deal for York.”

Councillor Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council, said:

 “This is very encouraging news, and welcome reward for our approach to shaping the future development at Bootham Park.

“Our ambition has always been to make sure these historic buildings and grounds continue to serve our city, and we will continue to communicate the priorities of our residents with the new owners.“

The report asks Executive to agree that the Council will use its rights as owner of a strip of access road to secure

  • Beneficial public use of the parkland in front of the hospital building
  • Improved pedestrian and cycle routes through the site
  • Conservation and redevelopment to deliver homes and services which are of benefit to the city

City of York Council has been working with NHS Property Services, The York Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the Vale of York CCG to influence the site’s future.

This included a site development report informed by public and wider stakeholder consultation in 2018. The results of the 2019 consultation over this plan are contained within the Executive report, with 1657 comments identifying public access to the green spaces, key worker accommodation, better cycle and pedestrian pathways and suitability of any new buildings as the priority.

These activities were funded as part of the government's One Public Estate programme, which supports public bodies to use public land and property to boost economic growth, supply housing and regeneration, and integrated public services.

Executive takes place at 17:30 on Wednesday 21 January at West Offices and will be webcast live at To read the report visit

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