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Castle Piccadilly talks under way
FORMAL talks between the owners of York’s Castle Piccadilly site and council bosses have begun, with the aim of deciding whether a plan for redeveloping the area can finally be moved forward.
LaSalle UK Ventures Fund, which owns the Coppergate Centre and two neighbouring pieces of city-centre land, said last year it hoped to submit proposals for a £200 million shopping scheme which could include an expanded Fenwick store and other major retailers.
But progress has been at a standstill since City of York Council approved plans for new John Lewis, Marks & Spencer and Next stores at Monks Cross – which will provide funding for a nearby community stadium – last May.
LaSalle and its development manager, Centros, had warned the out-of-town development would “severely compromise” any plans for Castle Piccadilly and it may force it to instead sell the land it owns and the Coppergate Centre, due to the amount of city-centre trade it claimed would be lost.
A report by Mike Slater, the council’s assistant director for city development and sustainability, said a “formal pre-application discussion process” over the future of the site was now due to be held.
It said a Castle Piccadilly development would be “a major extension to York’s retail core” and create “new world-class civic space” around the Eye of York.
The Castle Piccadilly update forms part of a six-monthly review of major developments in York and will be discussed by the council’s economic and city development overview and scrutiny committee next Tuesday.
In the report, Mr Slater said: “Landowners have been reviewing the position regarding the scheme’s viability and the required investor funding, and council officials have maintained contact with their agents throughout this lengthy period of time.”
A spokesman for LaSalle and Centros confirmed the discussions were “under way”, adding: “The nature and timing of any planning application would depend on the outcome of these talks.”
Castle Piccadilly’s previous owners, Land Securities, had hoped to redevelop the site, but sold the land to LaSalle after its Coppergate II proposals were rejected by the Government.