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Earlier news from 2001, '98-2000

16th December 2002 - Pranksters flypost shops in York
Posters have appeared in York suggesting that the Coppergate shopping mall will put more local traders out of business and increase the number of empty retail units in traditional shopping areas. Each poster appears to be numbered 1-150 indicating the number of empty shops in the city centre and therefore raising the question of why York needs another shopping mall.
"Yet another empty shop.  Coppergate II means more for the chop."

4th December 2002 - Another outrageous Council planning blunder
York residents are furious that even after winning a campaign against a mobile phone mast that the mast will be built anyway due to the incompetence of the City of York Council's Planning Department, who neglected to send in the paperwork before the 56 day legal deadline had passed. Er... does anyone actually believe this pathetic excuse? And if it is true, then shouldn't someone be sacked? Start at the top!

30th November 2002 - Historic pub could have been saved
York's reputation for destroying its heritage was highlighted again today when it was revealed that The John Bull pub, demolished in 1994 to make way for a car dealership, could have been saved had a major survey been available while it was under threat. The worthless govenrnment body "English Heritage" did not recommend listing the pub because it did not realise that the pub was an exceptional survivor of its type.

23rd October 2002 - York Council puts museums and art gallery into Trust.
The City of York Council, perhaps recognising it is no longer fit to be the guardian of the city's heritage, has put its museums into "York Museums Trust". This prompts the suggestion that the Castle Car Park could also be handed to the Trust and could be redeveloped as an open space or public precinct for the benefit of citizens and visitors to the Castle Museum and Clifford's Tower. English Heritage and York Museums Trust could potentially work together to gain lottery or other funding to improve the area. Well, they could if they wished... Send your suggestions to Janet Barnes, CEO York Museums Trust.

19th October 2002 - River punting on the Foss could be so good...
York City Punting plans to use the River Foss for the gentle recreation of punting, but the reality could be so different if Land Securities and their Council friends get their way. The images show how attractive punting could be through the Castle Park, or stifled by a monsterous mall.

Punting by the tower.

...or tower hidden.

6th October 2002 - Exeter / York alliance against Land Securities.
Exeter Peoples Choice and York's Castle Area Campaign discovered a common foe in bully-boy developers Land Securities plc. The multi-million pound company has its grasping hands round the necks of both the cities of Exeter and York. Now campaign groups in the north and south of England will collaborate in ways to fight the menace of over development in Exeter and York and the compliant Councils who have ignored the wishes of their electorates.

4th October 2002 - Clifford's Tower projections.
Clifford's Tower continues to be a focal point in the city of York, today being used as a giant projection screen for images celebrating thirty years of photographic art at York's Impressions Gallery which is sited near the historic monument.
Projections onto Cliffords Tower
27th September 2002 - Tea in the park.
People of York gathered on a new bit of grass at Clifford's Tower to relax and celebrate the possible beginnings of a green open space. Could this be the start of a park which would stretch between the Tower and the River Foss?
Reclaim the Castle Park for York!
Party in York Castle park

16th September 2002 - Time to atone over Coppergate.
Today is Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, a day when people should consider the year past and their behaviour and attitude over the course of that year. Maybe, as the world poises on the brink of war, we can all learn something from this introspection. Maybe in York, the City Council and Land Securities can think again over their plans to build next to Clifford's Tower, where so many Jewish people were killed, and consider that this is not the right place to erect a temple to consumerism.

9th September 2002 - Coppergate has left Civic Trust short of money.
The brave defence of Clifford's Tower from the Coppergate II development has left York Civic Trust in need of cash. Chairman Darrell Buttery said, "Finance does remain a problem. In spite of many generous donations, the costs of the Coppergate II Inquiry have seriously depleted our coffers."

1st September 2002 - Worldwide opposition emerges to Coppergate II.
An online petition to stop the building of a shopping mall at Clifford's Tower in York has revealed masses of people opposed to the proposed development in the UK and around the world. Sign the petiton and have your say by clicking this link:-   York is grateful.

6th August 2002 - Council bullies force an end to Public Inquiry.
As the Public Inquiry turned to examine York Tomorrow's plans for a park next to Clifford's Tower, the Council's barrister made it clear that they would seek costs against the York citizens making up York Tomorrow should the case fail. The group felt it could not risk costs of up to £7000 per day and so were forced to withdraw. So a Public Inquiry is closed to the public as they cannot afford to fight the Council's bullies. Shame! This stinks to high heaven. The Council has been too scared to face a fair argument, even with its expensive barristers, and has resorted to cheating York people of a chance to put forward their point of view.

26th July 2002 - York City Football Club chairman attacks inept planners.
John Batchelor indicating where he wants to build York City's new stadium unleashed a stinging attack on "inept" City of York Council planners. "I am not prepared to put up with the inept bungling of the morons in charge of running this city," he stormed, branding the council "shambolic."
We in the Castle Area Campaign Group know how you feel John!

22nd July 2002 - English Heritage fights blight in London but not in York.
The Heron Tower was today approved despite opposition. English Heritage said, "We continue to believe that the Heron Tower will damage world famous views of St Paul's cathedral and blight the London skyline for years to come." So why is it that English Heritage will fight encroachment on historic buildings in London, but can't be bothered in York?

18th July 2002 - Collusion between Council and Developers.
At the Coppergate Public Inquiry today, Philip Crowe of York Tomorrow said that there had been what amounted to a "joint venture" between the City of York Council and Land Securities. "From 1991 onwards, the city was committed to a course of action from which they were at no time perpared to deviate. This was based on a concept driven by misguided, short-term commercial considerations."

10th July 2002 - Coppergate Public Inquiry dates.
   Thurs 18th July in York's Guildhall.
   1st - 2nd August in the National Centre for Early Music, Walmgate, York.
   6th - 9th August in the Guildhall again.
If you can't come in person, then complain in writing. Click here for the address.

5th July 2002 - Queen's Baton reaches York.
Clifford's Tower was the scene for the celebrations as the Queen's Golden Jubilee Baton arrived in York on its way through 500 towns and cities across the United Kingdom on its way to the opening ceremony of this year's Commonwealth Games.
Golden Jubilee of HM Queen Elizabeth II
21st June 2002 - Recently deposed Council leader charged.
Rod Hills has been remanded in custody to appear at York Crown Court on charges of blackmail, perverting the course of justice, witness intimidation, wasting police time, soliciting women for prostitution, and dangerous driving. He was recently forced to step down as Leader of the City of York Council by his party who hurriedly installed Councillor Dave Merrett as Leader. Oddly this does not benefit the Castle Area Campaign, as Merrett is most closely associated with the scheme to build the offensive Coppergate II shopping mall.
Councillor Rod Hills

12th June 2002 - Another Council official resigns.
Like a rat deserting a sinking ship, Council planner Sue Heywood has quit her post. An apologist for the hated Coppergate II designs at the recent Public Inquiry, Heywood has done what damage she can to the city of York and is now moving on, presumably to mess up another town or city. This brings the total of "planners" who have resigned to four. More to come, we expect! Read more here, and here.

1st June 2002 - Coppergate II Inquiry suspended.
It is expected to resume on 18th July, maybe just for the one day. Please keep those letters coming to the Planning Inspectorate. You know you want to have your say, but not everyone feels they can appear at a Public Inquiry. If you want to write instead, then click here for the address.

31st May 2002 - Gorbachev speaks out against consumerism.
Former Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, could have been speaking about Coppergate when he spoke at the Yorkshire International Business Convention. President Gorbachev said that "We must de-emphasise consumerism. It is not a firm base on which to build society." How wise. York's future must rely on real job-creation while honouring the city's history and architecture. A reliance on shopping does neither of these things and merely cheapens this glorious city.
Mikhail Gorbachev

31st May 2002 - Coppergate shops will swamp York city centre with traffic.
York Tomorrow spokesman, Mr Tyler, ridiculed the Council's estimates of traffic volumes at the Public Inquiry. He unearthed from their reports, that, "at a Saturday lunchtime, some 25 vehicles a minute will use Piccadilly." Tyler added, "How that can be presented as a pedestrian-friendly or bus-favouring environment, I fail to understand."

30th May 2002 - Powerful criticism of Coppergate from York Georgian Society.
Alison Sinclair of the Georgian Society delivered a withering criticism of the Land Securities proposals. This must have rattled the developers and the City of York Council as their barrister made a nasty and sustained attack on Ms Sinclair at one point accusing her of "changing bonnets". Unpleasant bit of sexism from the Council's representative.

30th May 2002 - Leading Estate Agent in York attacks Coppergate II.
Andrew Hedley, of property consultants Alan Black and Co, gave evidence that shoppers would move away from the traditional shopping centre, and businesses would hold back from setting up in other parts of York. "I have taken the view for the past ten years that York has too many shops spread over too great an area." Headley said areas already suffering from recent developments included Fossgate, Walmgate, Micklegate and Goodramgate.

29th May 2002 - Ramblers' Association blasts the over-development of York.
The Inquiry was told of strong opposition to the scheme by the Ramblers' Association. David Rubenstein, a York resident and former national chairman of the association, called for more open space in York city centre and said there should be attractive urban surroundings in which people could walk.

29th May 2002 - Two City of York councillors now speak out.
At last! Two councillors within the stricken City of York Council have publicly objected to the shopping mall proposals of Land Securities. Brian Watson, a Labour councillor for Guildhall ward, said "Our city is not some consultants' and developers' toy for them to play about with," he said, urging the Secretary of State to refuse the application. This is a bit late in the day, but very welcome nevertheless!

29th May 2002 - Board of Deputies urges respect and sensitivity at Clifford's Tower.
A senior member of the Board of Deputies of British Jews spoke out about the castle area's vital importance since the massacre of 1190 in which 150 Jews were killed. Elkan Levy said: "Our concern is for the dignity of Clifford's Tower and its immediate surroundings, and the respect due to the place where such horrific events happened."

28th May 2002 - Landowners would have to be forced to sell their businesses.
Two landowners have objected to the plans for Coppergate II and will refuse to sell their land for the development. One of these landowners, Martin Burgess, has put forward his own designs (pictured), but these are sited on the Piccadilly-side of the river Ouse and do not impinge on the ancient monument of Clifford's Tower.
28th May 2002 - York Council Leader is arrested.
Police today arrested Councillor Leader, Rod Hills. However, it is not believed that this pertains to any corruption relating to the Coppergate II development proposal.

26th May 2002 - Coppergate II Public Inquiry moves back to Guildhall.
For Tuesday 28th to Friday 31st May, the Inquiry returns to the Guildhall. Please come.

24th May 2002 - Scheme savaged by Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment.
Coppergate II came under a sustained and devastating attack from CABE, a government-backed architectural advisory body. The architecture of the £60 million redevelopment project was branded "not worthy of its location" near Clifford's Tower and the Castle Museum. This is the first Inquiry which CABE has attended to oppose the granting of planning permission. Land Securities' appalling scheme was hammered.

23rd May 2002 - Council admits figures may be out by 100%
Council transport planner, Peter Evely, was embarrassed to reveal that there was a series of miscalculations in the figures submitted on the potential levels of traffic. He admitted it was shoddy work and that there was a margin of error of 100%. How many more Council produced figures are similarly inaccurate?

22th May 2002 - Council cheats switch venue at last minute.
Sneaky underhand double-dealing lead to the venue of the Public Inquiry being changed from the Moat House Hotel to an abandoned carpet warehouse on the South Side of Ouse Bridge. The building used to be Boyes Department Store but has been empty for some time showing clearly the demand for large Department Stores in the centre of York. So, there you have it. Please come to the building just off Ouse Bridge, or go to the Moat House Hotel as before and ask for directions.

20th May 2002 - Your support is needed on Weds 22nd May.
If you're in York on 22nd May, please come to give your support to ordinary citizens like us who will be speaking at the Public Inquiry. Wednesday and Thursday will be the best days. Please come to the Moat House hotel, formerly the Viking Hotel, on North Street, York.

17th May 2002 - Greens hammer shopping consultants' lies.
York Green Party spokesman Andy Chase said that retail consultants Hillier Parker have over-calculated the capacity for retail floorspace in York city centre up to 2011. "This may mean that the proposed Coppergate development would create a vast over-capacity of floorspace for years to come, and would threaten the viability of certain other parts of the city centre by sucking available spending away from them."
He added that the new buildings would be predominantly steel-framed with no respect for the city centre's historic character. "Clifford's Tower will become a traffic island for the large articulated delivery vehicles which will service the new shops," he said.

17th May 2002 - Coppergate will put York's specialist shops out of business..
Adam Sinclair, Chairman of York Chamber of Trade, claimed that established retailers elsewhere in York would not be able to compete on a level playing field with the £60 million Coppergate development. He said that there was a "frightening and intimidating" threat to the viability of other parts of the city centre, he also pointed out that demand for retail space in the city was already so poor that units at Stonegate Walk had not been let after a year on the market.

15th May 2002 - Council ignored independent poll of citizens.
Former councillor, Ken Beavan, said an Evening Press phone poll gave the people of York the first opportunity to have their say on Coppergate Riverside and alternative schemes. However, the landslide result in favour of York Tomorrow's vision of a green public open space never made it into the minutes of a major planning meeting. More than 2,400 people had responded with 91% voting in favour of York Tomorrow's proposals and only 9% for Land Securities' scheme.

14th May 2002 - Coppergate Public Inquiry restarts.
York Council's lawyer tried to limit the length of the Inquiry to prevent the many opposing groups and members if the public from having their say. The Inspector slapped him down saying that lawyers had used up the first three weeks with questioning, not the public. The developers will still use most of the coming three weeks, according to the timetable. The people of York will yet have their say, despite the Council's lawyer's attempts to deny them.
Protest at restart of Coppergate Inquiry
13th May 2002 - Superior design unveiled for Piccadilly.
Philip Crowe, of the anti-Coppergate pressure group York Tomorrow, today unveiled his new design for Piccadilly. This would leave the land across the river, adjacent to Clifford's Tower, free for greening as a public park, as York Tomorrow had proposed. Unlike the flawed Land Securities plan, the new design would not be reliant on massive chain stores to make it profitable. It is hoped that Land Securities will have their design thrown out in the forthcoming Public Inquiry permitting more popular, community-focussed options to be considered.
York Tomorrow's design
28th April 2002 - French support for Castle Area Campaign.
A Norman TV journalist contacted us with 50 signatures of French authors, historians and intellectuals gathered in support of our campaign. Tipped-off by a contact in Australia, Thierry Leprevost began raising awareness in France of the Castle Area Campaign. He compared the proposals for Coppergate II to the outrageous attachments to the Château of Falaise. Falaise was the birthplace of William the Conqueror who built the original of Clifford's Tower.
Château de Falaise
27th April 2002 - Aged hippy protesters make their mark.
Anti-Coppergate protesters have painted the Bob Dylan lyric "The times they are a-changing" on the back of the Banana Warehouse facing the site where Land Securities plan to build a shopping mall despite massive opposition. The graffiti operation was carried out from a river craft alongside the Banana Warehouse which is scheduled for demolition as part of the evil scheme.
12th April 2002 - Landmark to be demolished for a burger bar.
York Council has passed plans to destroy this local landmark pub, The Frog Hall, in favour of a drive-through burger bar. While this is not directly connected to the campaign to save Clifford's Tower from obliteration by a shopping mall, it serves as another indication of the philistinism of York Council.
Citizens of York demand that the Council takes more pride in the city and not just sell our heritage off for some cheap and nasty redevelopment like this. We will not allow this to happen next to Clifford's Tower. Save our city !
Frog Hall pub
27th March 2002 - Local Strategic Parnership ignores the ordinary citizens.
York Council has responded to the deluge of criticism over Coppergate II and other planning fiascos by setting up a city-wide review on the future of the city. This stops short of being commendable due to its elite composition. The public still don't get a look-in. Nor does the environmental lobby. The Local Strategic Partnership looks like being a carve-up for the powerful with York's citizens left out in the cold... again.

22nd March 2002 - Dates for the Public Inquiry announced.
The Public Inquiry will recommence on:-
   14th - 17th May in York's Guildhall.
   21st - 24th May in the Moat House Hotel, North St. York.
   28th - 31st May in the Guildhall again.
Please click here to see what you can do to help us stop the development.

20th March 2002 - Corrupt councillor and property developer both jailed.
Leading councillors, a Council officer, and a property developer have all been found guilty of fraud and corruption in a planning scandal in neighbouring Doncaster. Huge bribes were taken on order for the developer to gain planning permission. Let's all sincerely hope that such corruption isn't widespread in town planning circles.

10th March 2002 - Jewish memorial gathering at Clifford's Tower.
Kaddish prayers to the memory of the 150 Jews murdered on the site of Clifford's Tower on 16th March 1190 were said tonight at a candlelit vigil organised by the Union of Jewish Students. Click here for historical details.

22nd February 2002 - Brilliant idea! Switch the shops to Hungate site.
Northminster Properties Ltd has suggested that the hated shopping mall development could go ahead but on a different site. This would release the sensitive area around Clifford's Tower from such inappropriate treatment. A full report can be read here, but have a good laugh at Roy Templeman's assertion that it would be a bad idea to place a shopping mall near a busy bus route. Has he a brain between his ears?

16th February 2002 - Majesty of Clifford's Tower.
The Eye of York was today the setting for the finale of the Jolablot Viking Festival. Clifford's Tower stood proudly above the evening's proceedings. The perfect venue for an amazing fireworks display, it brought the history of York's anti-Semitism at this place vividly into focus. The pyrotechnics against the castle backdrop were truly an amazing spectacle.
Vlking Festival fireworks

8th February 2002 - Public Inquiry adjourned.
Lawyers stand to be the chief beneficiaries of the adjournment of the Inquiry. We believe it will reconvene in May 2002. Don't go away. The struggle continues out of court.

8th February 2002 - York Council fails to put up witness.
The Inspector did not seem pleased that the City of York Council was unwilling to put forward any witnesses today. This should surprise nobody as the Council has acted shamefully throughout this sordid business and is now intent on hiding behind its expensive barristers. Wish we could all enjoy such luxury at the taxpayers' expense.

1st February 2002 - CABE slams Coppergate II designs.
Dr Giles Worsley, speaking on behalf of CABE, the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, branded the proposed development "clumsy, poorly proportioned and a wasted opportunity."

31st January 2002 - When Ingham met Bingham.
Ye gods! The Philistines are at it again!" said Sir Bernard Ingham when he descended on the Public Inquiry today to castigate the lack of vision for this most historic area, and to throw his weight behind the York Tomorrow plan to turn the existing car park into a grassy open public space. "It's a place where people can commune with the past and get some idea of York," added Sir Bernard.
Sir Bernard Ingham
29th January 2002 - Excellent performance by new Civic Trust Chairman.
Darryl Buttery gave a strong and visionary account at the Public Inquiry. His presentation on behalf of the Civic Trust was cheered and clapped by the public gallery. It is worth re-reading what the Civic Trust had to say about Coppergate II before. Click here.

28th January 2002 - More support from Israel.
Dr Brooks, writing from Karkur in Israel, implores York to remember its past and not to denigrate the site of the massacre of the city's Jewish population. Click here to read his excellent letter.

24th January 2002 - English Heritage fail to defend England's heritage.
What a worthless organisation English Heritage is! The body charged with defending and preserving England's historic buildings has failed to act in support of Clifford's Tower and the site of York Castle on which the greedy developers propose to build. What is the point of having an organisation such as English Heritage if it cannot act to defend such a significant national monument in a historic city like York? I've rescinded my membership and so should you.

23rd January 2002 - Council critics were silenced by bosses.
The Public Inquiry heard today how internal Council reports which were critical of the Coppergate scheme were covered-up. The Planning Committee never got to hear the dissenting voices when they made their fateful decision to back the appalling scheme. Here are the details which we uncovered of what the expert's report said compared with the senior officer's report to the Planning Committee. The missing report.

19th January 2002 - What does the public really want?
Well, unlike York Council, we thought we'd actually ask the citizens of York. Radical? Actually, no, it just seemed the obvious and sensible thing to do. Give people a choice and see what they vote for. Click here to see the people's choice in this free and fair public consultation. Now bring on the referendum. The people of York should have a proper say.

15th January 2002 - Public Inquiry into Coppergate II begins.
Come on down! York's Guildhall, behind the Mansion House, is the venue for the Public Inquiry each weekday from now until the end of January (excluding Mondays). Please come to show your support for York's heritage and stand up for what you really want.
Already, today, Land Securities' own expert witness, James Williams, admitted that the proposed Coppergate Centre would decrease trade in city centre shops by 9.5%. That's very precise! Shall we call that a 10% drop in trade then? Wonder how many shops will go bankrupt as a result?

14th January 2002 - Conservationists battle for heart of York.
This article in The Guardian covers the rising dispute nicely. Click here to see The Guardian article.

13th January 2002 - Ghosts of William Etty will defend Clifford's Tower.
Citizens met at the statue of William Etty outside York City Art Gallery to protest at the plans to build Coppergate II. Etty and other York citizens stopped the authorities from demolishing York City Walls and Bootham Bar back in 1835. Now in 2002, citizens must again fight the Council to save York's heritage.

9th January 2002 - Plazis - rather sad.
Property developer, Trevor Kidd, has formed a group in favour of Coppergate II going ahead. Trevor owns not one, but two penthouse apartments on Piccadilly Plaza and is frightened that the value of his property may not go up as quickly if the development fails to go ahead.
The Castle Area Campaign Group keeps its minds on higher ideals and welcomes the development of Piccadilly so long as the "Castle Area", around Clifford's Tower, is unmolested. That should be good news for Trevor - both his apartments can continue to rocket in value.

Click here to see earlier news from 2001, and even earlier news from 1998 to 2000.

Click here to see the most up-to-date news.