Six respected York organisations are calling on the government to order a public enquiry into the York Central plan.

In an open letter to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, the groups say they have “considerable concerns” about the scheme, which was granted outline planning permission in March.

The letter has been written by Clean Air York, York Bus Forum, York Central Action, York Civic Trust, York Cycle Campaign and York Environment Forum.

It says:

  • We represent a number of local groups, all of whom would like to see development at this site, but who have considerable concerns about the current outline plans as they stand.

    None of the groups have any political ties.

    We believe that this planning application raises economic, transport, housing, heritage and sustainability issues that exceed the remit of local determination. Hence we urge you to call in the application.

Plan has ‘huge potential’

The groups say they are “passionate about enhancing the city” and believe the development has “huge potential” if plans are amended.

The letter was also sent to York MPs Rachael Maskell and Julian Sturdy, housing minister Kit Malthouse and Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry.


Ms Maskell says she has raised the issue of York Central in Parliament several times and added that the strategic board are meeting to discuss the plans. But she said there has been no movement from the government yet.

Neil Ferris, the council’s director for economy, said:

  • The application still remains within the planning process, and we continue to await the secretary of state’s decision.

    We are hopeful the Secretary of State will announce his decision soon and can confirm York Central reflects the council’s submitted Local Plan.

‘Don’t risk this’

A York Central Partnership spokesperson, said: “There are clear processes in place when a planning application is referred to the Secretary of State and we await the outcome of this.”

Cllr Keith Aspden, council leader, said: “With the York Central Plan currently being considered by the Secretary of State, we must not risk seizing the clear and present opportunities we have to grow our economy, attract higher wage jobs and support the city’s development.

“We will, as a new administration, of course seek further improvements, particularly pushing for clean growth, sustainability and ensuring housing delivery.”