Castle Area Campaign news 2004 Castle Area Campaign logo

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Petition against Coppergate II

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Earlier news from 2003 , 2002 , 2001 , and from 1998-2000.

8th Dec 2004 - Sir Ron Cooke warns against ruination of York
Former Vice-chancellor of the University of York, Sir Ron Cooke, urges that "York is special" and needs special consideration to constrain the rampant overdevelopment which threatens to engulf the city. Read the Yorkshire Evening Press article.

7th Dec 2004 - York Civic Trust slams "New Yorkification"
Darrell Buttery, Chairman of York Civic Trust, said historic buildings were being overshadowed, views were eclipsed and architecture "alien to the city" was beginning to take hold as new developments are being built "regardless of the consequences". See full article in the Yorkshire Evening Press.

15th Nov 2004 - Lord Mayor of York criticises madness of flat-building
Councillor Janet Looker, Lord Mayor of York, expressed her heartfelt concerns about what is happening to the fabric of our city. She declared, "It seems as if everything that stands still in York will be turned into flats." Since August 2003, the Council has granted planning permission for 1,041 flats. Handsome buildings, profitable businesses and community focal points are being lost. There is no Local Plan to protect them and no Council vision to mould new projects. Full article on the YEP website.

19th Oct 2004 - Council fails to listen to Castle Piccadilly reference group
York Council would not wait to hear the views of the recent retail report from the Castle Piccadilly reference group which it set-up. Too eager to rush the plans for more shopping malls through, the Council has again failed to listen to the people of York. It seems that only paid retail consultants can have valid opinions of what shops we should have in York and where they should go. Does anything else matter?

12th Oct 2004 - New retail report published for York
York Council still seems to be going hell for leather for a shopping mall as it has commissioned "retail consultants" at more public expense to examine the case for more retail in York city centre. Guess what? The retail consultants recommend that York needs more shops. They concede that it should be more sensitive and scaled-down than the orginal outrage, but they still recommend a shopping mall on the site of York Castle. Well, he who pays the piper calls the tune, so there's no surprise there. What price heritage and what price our city, when the only thing the Council is prepared to consider is shopping?!

2nd Oct 2004 - Good level of support at public forum
Today's six-hour public consultation allowed people to make comments on heritage, buildings, spaces, movement and riverside issues. It was noticable how many people spoke in favour of open spaces between Clifford's Tower and the River Foss and between the Castle Museum and "Cafe Andros". Let's hope that the Council takes these views into consideration when it re-writes the development brief for the Castle/Piccadilly area. Thanks to all who came along to give their views.

23rd Sept 2004 - IMPORTANT - Come to open forum on 2nd October
The Council promises "a fresh start" and the opportunity to play your part in developing a new "development brief" for the Castle and Piccadilly area. Please come to York St. John College to have your say between 10am and 4pm on Saturday 2nd October. It might be the only chance to have your voice heard and if you don't speak up they will just go back to their own plans. Download Council's leaflet.

21st Sept 2004 - Now even York Council bemoans empty shops
The City of York Council's Economic Development and Community Safety Scrutiny Board admitted that empty shops and boarded-up shops are an eyesore and should be monitored. So perhaps they should concentrate on filling them instead of building more shopping malls!

17th Sept 2004 - Six-storey eyesore proposed on Piccadilly next to Stubbs
A hideous high-rise block is proposed on the tiny car park next to FR Stubbs and overshadowing the ancient Merchant Adventurers' Hall. English Heritage has called for the scheme to be rejected saying it would "harm the conservation area and the setting of the two adjacent listed buildings." The Company of Merchant Adventurers said the latest scheme would "dominate the hall and its gardens and light levels will be reduced markedly". Clueless Council officers seem to think the scheme is all right.

19th July 2004 - Castle Area Campaign joins consultation Group
We have decided to participate in the Castle/Piccadilly Reference Group which the York Council has set up promising a new start to the Coppergate debate. The first meeting had representatives from York Tomorrow, English Heritage, York Open Planning Forum, CABE, York Civic Trust, Land Securities, YNET, as well as the Council, other landowners and ourselves. It was run by an independent facilitator and went reasonably well but we must be careful not to be drawn into accepting a variation on Coppergate II.

15th July 2004 - Steve Galloway praises anti-Coppergate protestors
In a bizarre incident at the launch of the "Without Walls" vision for York over the next 20 years, York Council Leader appeared to pay tribute to the supporters of the Castle Area Campaign who have fought the City of York Council so fiercely over the Coppergate development. Councillor Galloway, who chairs Without Walls, said residents "had previously overcome apparently overwhelming odds." He pointed to the Coppergate campaign, as an example of "everyone pulling in the same direction." Weird. See for yourself what he had to say in the YEP article.

5th July 2004 - Shoppergate could harm shopping in York
Our campaign has received a boost from researchers and retail experts in an article in "Regeneration & Renewal" magazine.

Julian Oram, senior researcher at the New Economics Foundation, was quoted as saying, "We must look carefully at what makes each city unique, what makes it so special, and what makes people want to go there rather than to other similar cities."

Neil McInroy, Director of the Centre for Local Economic Strategies, warned that if major developments push out smaller, quirkier retailers then the UK would become "a country of homogenised towns and cities with little cultural diversity or individuality. A symbol of the successful regeneration of a city doesn't necessarily mean a large Marks & Spencer or John Lewis. Each town or city should find its own niche."

Adam Sinclair, Chairman of York Chamber of Trade, added, "This article vindicates our long-established stance, in that not only is the character of the area surrounding Clifford's Tower crucial to the distinction of this city, but so is the character and distinction of our small independent shops in this historic city. It is vital that any future development or transport infrastructure surrounding it does not overpower or subsume these retailers who are the lifeblood of the city and have been responsible for the long-term upkeep of many of York's listed building premises."

4th May 2004 - Coppergate Director, Roy Templeman to leave York Council
The Director of Environment and Development Services at the City of York Council has finally resigned. It is widely believed he was told to find another job after wasting £250,000 of taxpayers' money fighting the citizens of York to build Coppergate II. We are delighted at the news that he is leaving and hope that this will bring a more balanced perspective within York Council and a greater respect for the city and its environment.

8th April 2004 - Land Securities in new threat to Clifford's Tower
Francis Salway, new CEO of Land Securities, may be considering a new assault on York's Castle if media speculation is to be believed. The Yorkshire Evening Press raises the spectre of renewed interest in the site from Land Securities in this article. However, due to massive opposition to the previous scheme and refusal by the Planning Inspectorate and Secretary of State, Land Securites must tread carefully, as advised in this Yorkshire Evening Press Leader article. We will be watching.

17th March 2004 - Jewish ceremony held for those massacred
The University of York's Jewish Society held Kaddish prayers for those killed on the site of Clifford's Tower. The massacre of York's Jewish population took place on 16th March 1190. To build a shopping mall on the site of this massacre would be a sickening and insensitive act.

3rd Feb 2004 - Castle Area Campaign speaks to York Council's Executive
We asked Council Leader, Steve Galloway, to consider other options for the historic area next to Clifford's Tower and that the public consultation he promised would be fair and unbiased. Galloway agreed that he would approach the matter with no preconceptions. It will be "a blank piece of paper." However, resistance to good sense may lie more strongly with Council Planners who still cling to the shopping mall concept. More shopping consultants are to receive wads of public money, but no money has ever been spent on researching alternatives.

29th Jan 2004 - Council resists heritage survey
English Heritage has suddenly realised that there's something of cultural and historical value in York and proposed an environmental capacity study into the damage done by new developments. Bizarrely, but typically, York Council has rejected this. See Yorkshire Evening Press report. Why do York's Planners seem to hate our city?

20th Jan 2004 - Lib Dem propaganda tries to undermine voters
The Lib Dem "Focus" newsletter invites readers to support or reject a green park next to Clifford's Tower. It would be nice to see a fair consultation on the subject. However, this travesty of consultation attempts to skew the results by placing a £1M per year price tag on the park (ie: adding 2% to citizens' Council Tax). This is a perversion of the truth and a disgraceful attempt to undermine the future "proper" consultation.


Click here to see earlier news from 2003 , 2002 , 2001 , and from 1998-2000.