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Fears for future of historic York landmarks
ONE of York’s most famous landmarks could be harmed unless a new master plan is drawn up for the city’s Castle Piccadilly site, heritage chiefs have warned.
LaSalle Ltd, which owns the Coppergate Centre, last month announced it had abandoned plans for a huge £200 million redevelopment of land next to the River Foss, including shops. The company said the project had been made impossible after a retail complex at Monks Cross was approved last year.
It has since submitted scaled-down proposals to turn the Banana Warehouse building and two neighbouring shops on Piccadilly into two new stores and 37 flats, but English Heritage has said it would prefer this scheme to be part of a “comprehensive” Castle Piccadilly development.
It said a piecemeal approach to future building projects in the area might affect the setting of the Eye of York, including Clifford’s Tower and the Castle Museum.
The organisation has not objected to LaSalle’s plans for the Piccadilly site and said it was glad the facade of the Banana Warehouse would be retained.
However, in a letter to council planners, historic buildings inspector Dr Diane Green said: “English Heritage has significant concerns that this site is being brought forward in isolation from a wider and more strategic approach to the Castle Piccadilly area.
“We are concerned, in principle, that to redevelop this site in isolation from a comprehensive redevelopment brief for Castle Piccadilly could prejudice the wider redevelopment of the area, and may lead to future pressure for inappropriate intensification of development on the west bank of the River Foss, close to the Castle and the Eye of York.
“This would fail to sustain and enhance or better reveal the significance of these important heritage assets.”
In its application, LaSalle said smaller-scale regeneration of the Castle Piccadilly area was more viable than a large retail-led scheme, after previous plans had faced “a wide range of complex constraints”.
It said demand for more shopping space had been met by the Vangarde development at Monks Cross.
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