Castle Area Campaign news 2005 Castle Area Campaign logo

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The massacre of Jews in 1190

Alternative ideas for Coppergate

Photos of Clifford's Tower

Missing City of York Council report

Who in York is guilty?

Links to supporters

Petition against Coppergate II

Yorkshire celebrities' comments

Demonstration against Shoppergate


Earlier news from 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, and from 1998-2000.

13th Dec 2005 - Castle Area Campaign meeting with City of York Council
Castle Area Campaign Group members were approached by Derek Gauld from the City of York Council Planning Department and invited to a meeting to air our views. This is the first time this has happened and it is clear that the officer was acting on his own initiative. A full and frank exchange of views took place with most friction over the draft Planning Brief which is so heavily twisted towards retail. Derek Gauld claimed that the area is "crying out for retail development", which is light years from the assessment of the Government's Planning Inspector. It appears to us that the Planning Brief is less about true consultation and is simply a vehicle for pushing York Council's old ideas for a shopping centre. Disappointing and scandalous.

30th Nov 2005 - Land Securities Exeter eggbox
Poor Exeter - singled out as the worst "clone town" in Britain, it now has to host a conference sponsored by Land Securities titled, "Making retail led regeneration work in historic towns." The conference leaflet has a photo of the most soulless shopping shed imaginable milling with shopper-zombies. This is what Land Securities wants to see coming to a historic town near you? Well, not here in York mate.

Retail led regeneration conference Exeter

23rd Nov 2005 - Consultation says...
Uh-oh! Following the consultation on the draft of the new development brief, the Castle Area Campaign's bean-counter got to work to discover what York's Town Planners might really be thinking.
Is it significant the number of times these words were mentioned?

Local Economy = 1
Culture = 12
Heritage = 18
Community = 21
Consultation = 33
Open Space = 58
Retail = 103

York Council's consultation brief
20th Oct 2005 - York Pride Award for Campaign
A somewhat surprised Stuart Wilson collected a runners-up prize at a glitzy awards ceremony for York Community Pride Person of the Year, which was held at York Racecourse. Stuart said, "There were some worthy winners on the night and I felt it was an honour to be nominated. The accolade should go to the whole Castle Area Campaign and to everyone who is fighting to keep York special and prevent overdevelopment of the York Castle area."
York Pride Stuart Wilson
7th Oct 2005 - Greens call for 'plain talk' on Coppergate
Councillor Mark Hill presented the York Green Party's response to the draft Planning Brief on the Castle Piccadilly site, saying that the "dangerously vague" document needs a dose of good Yorkshire bluntness if York's heritage was to be protected from unchecked retail development. He urged citizens to write to Nicola Berry, Development Team, City of York Council, 9 St. Leonard's Place, York, YO1 7ET.

27th Sept 2005 - English Heritage CEO concedes Coppergate mistakes
Dr Simon Thurley, speaking at York Civic Trust's AGM, admitted that English Heritage's support for Coppergate II had been a mistake. Dr Thurley said that English Heritage had somehow "backed itself into a corner on the issue of Coppergate", but insisted that "the really good news is that it wasn't built."

22nd Aug 2005 - York's Castle Piccadilly public consultation begins
A new draft plan for the Castle Area and Piccadilly is available for public consultation from today. The plan sets out guidelines for any future development on this important heritage site next to Clifford's Tower. York MUST NOT get this wrong again. The consultation process runs from 22 Aug - 14 Oct. Have your say. Write to Nicola Berry, Development Team, City of York Council, 9 St. Leonard's Place, York, YO1 7ET.

17th Aug 2005 - Castle Area Campaigner nominated for York Pride award
We're delighted that Stuart Wilson, spokesperson for the Castle Area Campaign has been shortlisted as a finalist for 'York Community Pride Person of the Year'. Stuart said, "I'm just an ordinary guy but I think York is special and it is worth fighting to preserve its heritage and environment from over-development."

3rd Aug 2005 - York Councillors backsliding on Open Space promise
York's Liberal Democrat Councillors have now refused to say how much land next to Clifford's Tower should be set aside as open space and how much should be built on. This sets the new Planning Brief back on the same tracks as the hated Coppergate II. A public consultation is soon to take place. Contact us if you want to help the campaign. The plans can be downloaded from the Council's website.

26th July 2005 - Castle Piccadilly development draft available
The City of York Council has a new draft planning brief for the Castle Area and Piccadilly in York. This will be discussed by York Council on 3rd August and then be made available for public consultation. The Castle Area Campaign cautiously welcomes the draft planning brief. The Council has got to get this right for York this time and we will not let them get away with another shoddy Coppergate-style plan.

June 2005 - Exeter stigmatised as Britain's worst "clone town"
The New Economics Foundation defines a clone town as "a place that has had the individuality of its high street shops replaced by a monochrome strip of global and national chains". Exeter is the town most easily "mistaken for dozens of other bland town centres across the country." The High Street had only one independent shop and the least varied selection of shop types, with "little more than clothing retailers, a few electronics shops and some stationery or bookstores".
Exeter also suffers from a Development Director who previously worked in York in league with Land Securites to try to foist Coppergate II onto us. Unsurprisingly Exeter now has a horrible shopping mall to (dis)grace its streets. It didn't deserve it and neither does York.

13th May 2005 - Lendal Tower, York, under threat
The City of York Council is now considering removing the protection of Scheduled Ancient Monument status from Lendal Tower as it is turned into flats. There has been no Heritage and Conservation appraisal of this landmark building and the City of York Council Planning Department appears to have little concern as to what might happen to it in the future.
Lendal Tower York

7th May 2005 - Land Securities in big shopping mall deal
Rogue developer, Land Securities, has paid £517 million to acquire Tops Estates to consolidate its position in shopping malls.

16th March 2005 - Anniversary of massacre
The anniversary of the darkest hour in York's history, the killing in 1190 of 150 Jewish people at Clifford's Tower. York's population of Jews took refuge inside the then wooden tower from a rampaging mob. Seeing no possibility of escape many of the unfortunate Jews chose to die by their own hand while those who surrendered were slaughtered.

Is it any place to build a shopping mall, on the ground where this massacre took place?

Flowers at the Jewish memorial
4th Mar 2005 - Big wheel attraction put on hold
Plans for a 'York Eye' in York's Tower Gardens have been shelved. The Castle Car Park could be a suitable alternative venue, or the National Railway Museum.

24th Feb 2005 - Come to Open Planning Forum on Castle Piccadilly
Please come to the York Open Planning Forum to hear about the public consultation which has taken place. Will the Council's breif turn out merely to be a variation on Coppergate II ? Meet at the Central Methodist Church on St. Saviourgate on Thurs 24th Feb to start at 7:30pm.

9th Feb 2005 - Historic chapel opened at Clifford's Tower in York
English Heritage has re-opened a room at Clifford's Tower which has remained closed to the public for decades. Some of the tower's best architectural detail is now on display in the medieval chapel, once used to accommodate royal visitors.

2nd Feb 2005 - A new roof and floors for Clifford's Tower?
It's probably the silly season... a newspaper article has revealed a possible plan by English Heritage to replace the roof on Clifford's Tower and add floors. This seems unlikely, unless of course, the real plan is to turn it into 150 buy-to-let flats!

27th Jan 2005 - York holocaust vigil.
Clifford's Tower, the site of York's massacre of Jews in 1190, was a highly appropriate venue for anti-fascist campaigners to gather to honour the millions who died in the Nazi's genocide programme. Students, trades unionists, travellers, and Jewish people were among those who came to remember.

Cliffords Tower holocaust vigil

26th Jan 2005 - 'York Eye' could be built near Clifford's Tower
A 54 metre high observation wheel like the London Eye could be erected in Tower Gardens opposite York's famous Clifford's Tower. It would be a temporary structure for 11 months necessitating cutting down some trees and would be close to some houses. However it would be an exciting addition to York's tourism offering especially if placed on the Castle Car Park instead of at Tower Gardens. This would afford 11 months for the car park to be examined as public open space.

22nd Jan 2005 - Another historic building flattened in York
Burton Croft, the former home of renowned conservationist John Bowes Morrell, has been destroyed by evil developers Barrett York Limited to make way for more horrible little flats. York's worthless Council Planning Department had backed the destruction.


Click here to see earlier news from 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, and from 1998-2000.