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Plans to develop a new square in front of York Minster evolve…

Large-scale plans for York Minster have been the talk of the town as the emerging neighbourhood plans were confirmed last week.

Planning permissions were released at the beginning of 2019 to enhance the popular area for visitors and preserve the Minster’s historic charm for the next twenty years.

Alex McCallion-director of Minster Precincts and works, has emphasised the importance of the community:

“The future of the Minster Precinct is hugely important to many people, particularly to those who live and work in the neighbourhood.”

After 290 completed surveys, the draft proposals were based on what people said they value from the Minster, Dean’s Park and the surrounding areas. It seems that the people of York do have a big say on their beloved Minster.

So what did the community want? Here is a summary of the responses to the 290 completed surveys:

The Precinct

Here are some of the proposed plans:

Duncombe Place

Duncombe Place is to be transformed into a public square dedicated to, and renamed after Queen Elizabeth II. Queen Elizabeth’s Square will be a ceremonial space for Yorkshire, under the ‘Heart of Yorkshire’ window.

McCallion explained how the city wide initiative will transform the public space:

“The draft Neighbourhood Plan has become the catalyst for one of the most significant and exciting civic improvement projects anywhere in the country. This is a tremendous opportunity for the city of York to create an outstanding and accessible new public square that draws people to the space and is sympathetic to the city’s history and heritage.”

  • A new statue of Queen Elizabeth II is to be erected and will stand at the Minster’s west front
  • The west end becomes the entrance for Minster services and ceremonial events
  • Security measures will be designed to restrict vehicle access close to the Minster
  • The lime trees will be pollarded to open views to the Minster
  • A new drop off/pick up space for the Minster School
  • A new café and outdoor seating
  • A new ticket office and welcome centre for visitors

Dean’s Park

The importance to maintain a quiet oasis is something locals and visitors value in the green space. Based on what the community want, some advancements to the area will be:

  • A sensory garden will open for the public for reflection and contemplation to reflect the Minster’s commitment to the well-being of its community.
  • A small cafe kiosk could open in the Summer
  • A new access will be created onto the City Walls
  • A new learning and education centre to exhibit the Minster’s artefacts

St. William’s College

A small number of new homes will be arranged for Minster apprentices, storage space, new offices and other back-of-house facilities. St. William’s College has been empty for many years. It is currently being restored so it can be used as office space for the Minster, Minster Police, and a high quality conference and events space.

  • Homes for private rent at Church House
  • The Minster’s offices will be moved out of Church House, and the building will be a residential development, generating income to support the Minster’s restoration work.

Keep an eye out for the developments of York’s most famous building and the stunning areas surrounding it as the local community has been at the centre of the proposed plans so far.

By Larissa Nath

 

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