CAMPAIGNERS who are fighting plans to build a visitor centre into the side of the Clifford's Tower motte have been given renewed hope.

Councillor Johnny Hayes is leading a legal fight against English Heritage’s plans for the historic tower, and against City of York Council’s decision last year to grant planning permission for the gift shop, cafe and interpretation centre.

In June, a High Court judge ruled in favour of City of York Council following a judicial review of that decision.

But the case will now be heard at the Court of Appeal in London. The date is yet to be confirmed.

Cllr Hayes declared himself delighted to hear the news.

He said: "It has been a long wait but now we will have our opportunity to appeal against the detail of the verdict of the Clifford's Tower Judicial Review.

"The whole case will focus on one aspect of planning law about development and its impact on archaeology.

"The Court of Appeal will be looking at the detail of the planning laws governing how heritage assets should be treated and whether the verdict of the judge in May was flawed.

"We are hopeful that we will win this appeal and that the planning permission given for the Clifford's Tower Visitor Centre on October 27, 2016 will be quashed by City of York Council."

"We are very hopeful of success in the Appeal Court."

Before Cllr Hayes applied for a judicial review, nearly 4,000 people signed a petition against the development, and thousands of pounds were raised via crowdfunding.

After judge Mr Justice Kerr ruled for the council, Cllr Hayes applied to take that ruling to appeal.

In his reasons for giving permission for an appeal to be heard, judge Lord Justice Hickinbottom, said: "I am persuaded that the grounds are arguable."

He also said that “this appears to be the first case in which the meaning and effect of paragraph 141 of the National Planning Policy Framework have been considered”.

The appeal is set to become a test case for recently established planning law with regards to a development and its impact on archaeology.

Mike Slater, assistant director with responsibility for planning at City of York Council, said: “The High Court judged earlier this year that planning decision-making was lawful and appropriate, dismissing the claims and ordering the claimant to pay £5,000 towards our costs.

"The decision to give permission for this to be considered in the Court of Appeal does not in any way suggest that this original judgement is incorrect, and we remain confident that we have done everything correctly and that the Court of Appeal will uphold that judgement.”