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LIVE: Stadium and new shops get go ahead
Follow this rolling story throughout the day, as councillors debate plans for a new stadium and superstores on the edge of York.
7.50pm - There should now be a new story on our news page, giving reaction from various parties involved in the big debate today. Thanks to everyone who has commented below, tweeted or emailed today. That's all from this rolling story.
6.41pm - Just collating reaction now from both sides of the debate, and will have that online very soon. James Alexander, council leader, is very happy and says the decision shows York is open for business. Green councillor Dave Taylor says an appeal and public inquiry are almost inevitable.
6.32pm - The Oakgate plan to build a stadium, John Lewis store and Marks + Spencer store is APPROVED by 11 votes to 4. All voted in favour except Couns D'Agorne, Watt, Healey and Galvin.
6.22pm - So, planning permission for the expansion and re-arrangement of the existing Monks Cross shopping centre has been REFUSED. Next up, the Oakgate plan for a new stadium and two superstores (John Lewis and Marks and Spencer).
6.19pm - We're now having the vote on the first plan - the Monks Cross expansion. The vote is to REFUSE planning permission.
6.05pm - Joe Watt (Con, Skelton, Rawcliffe and Clifton Without), says too many councillors have been seduced by big business. He says out-of-town shopping centres were a product of their age, and were right for their time but no longer. He criticises fellow councillors for going against national policies, and says: "Clearly, I am going to vote against the community stadium project."
5.59pm - John Galvin (Con, Bishopthorpe) says the council is being asked to "take a punt" and gamble on the future of York. He says the council must do everything in its power to preserve what it has, the only certainty in the city. He says: "We have to preserve and maintain the shoping figure in the city."
He says that, "regretfully" he cannot support the proposal. That's 8-3 in favour now.
5.58pm - Steve Burton (Lab, Westfield, joins the yes camp, making it 8-2 in favour so far. He says that, on balance, it is a good proposal.
5.54pm - We're back under way. Tina Funnell (Lab, Heworth) speaks in favour, so that's 7-2 in favour now. She says people in her ward want jobs, better transport links and better health care, and the stadium application would give that. She says: "I would not know one end of a football pitch from the other" but says it is an exciting proposal that she supports.
She adds: "We can tend to get a bit prissy, as if everyone in York lives within the City Walls, and as if the only thing that matters is our fantastic heritage. I would fight to the death to protect that but we have to act in terms of the whole city."
5.40pm - There's been a big Government announcement today on business rates, which has major ramifications for the development being debated today. The Government says councils can keep 50% of the extra business-rates created by developments after April 2013. The stadium, John Lewis and Marks + Spencer plan has been predicted to yield an extra £7.1m of business rates - this new announcement means £3.55 million of that would stay in York, rather than going into the national pot.
5.36pm - Another break has been called. We reconvene at 5.45pm. Impressive dedication and staying-power in the public gallery today!
5.34pm - Tracey Simpson-Laing (Lab, Acomb) speaks in favour. These are indications, rather than votes, but the two usually correlate. So far, it's 6-2 in favour, with 7 left to speak. Cllr Simpson-Laing says she is worried that York could be left trailing by new developments in Leeds, and says the benefits of Oakgate's plan outweigh the disadvantages.
5.23pm - Paul Healey (Con, Rural West York), says he agrees with most of what Coun D'Agorne has said. He asks: "How can we move forward with development partners at difficult sites such as Castle Piccadilly or York Central?". He says Monks Cross is "hardly the most sustainable site" and says the benefits are being upped when, without the stadium, the council would refuse them for going against national plans.
5.19pm - Andy D'Agorne (Green, Fishergate) says that if the application was solely for a stadium, he would be supportive, but he says the shopping element flies in the face of the council's planning strategies and policies. He says a 'yes' vote today would undermine the council when dealing with future applications.
5.15pm - Barbara Boyce (Lab, Heworth) says people have long predicted that new projects would harm York, but they haven't. She says that years ago, people had to go to Leeds for fashionable shopping, but not any more. She says: "Retailing has to evolve." She says retailers that cater for demands will always be popular, and says: "Two new shops at Monks Cross are not going to change that." She says she's proud to support the application. That's five out of five in favour so far.....
5.10pm - Ken King (Lab, Clifton) says that for far too long, the only people to speak on big proposals have been opponents. He says: "It's about time that people who supported these schemes had their say and most if not all have spoken with vision and foresight, and we have to listen to them. There has been a lot of scaremongering today but scaremongering will not win the argument.... We have to support this development and I do not think it will be detrimental to the city at all."
5.04pm - Ann Reid (Lib Dem, Dringhouses and Woodthorpe) praises the quality of debate and discussion today, and says many people have spoken well. She says most support the idea of a stadium but say it is a difficult decision to say whether the positives outweigh the negatives. She says the disagreement between the Chamber of Commerce and Chamber of Trade shows how tough a call it is.
She says: "I do think the claims being made around the city centre are a little bit exaggerated." She says people now look back on the Coppergate II or Castle Piccadilly plans with rose-tinted glasses, and says those who objected to the creation of shops on that site ten years ago are now supporting the same thing now. "That does perhaps undermine some of their arguments," she says.
She says although the city-centre's share of the retail economy has dipped, footfall and the number of visitors has increased.
5.01pm - Dafydd Williams (Lab, Westfield) says that whatever councillors decide today, they will be judged on it in future. He says it's the biggest application in his time in York, and many others' time. He says: "Nobody doubts there will be a negative impact on trade in the city centre but I do think there has been an over-stating of the case." He says people claimed the original Monks Cross, Designer Outlet and pedestrianisation would kill the city-centre, but says that has not happened and he says York will remain a interesting, dynamic city-centre.
He says the one thing York misses is a first-class sports facility and says the benefits outweigh the negative. He says: "We would be mad to turn this down" and says he will be voting in favour of the plan.
4.52pm - First up is Brian Watson (Lab, Guildhall). He talks about attendances, which fell when the rugby club moved from Clarence St to Huntington. He says the running track was a big issue there, changing the atmosphere on match-days. There'd be no such track at the proposed new stadium.
He also talks about the impact on city-centre shops, and says big stores at Monks Cross would take trade from major shops in the centre. He says Piccadilly is a "disgrace" due to lack of investment. He says he doesn't like being held to ransom by an organisation saying they would pull out of the city [a reference to LaSalle Venture Fund, one must assume].
He says a shared rugby & football stadium makes sense. He says a stadium holds prestige for people and says the benefits of job creation and a development that would be otherwise impossible are clear-cut, whereas the disadvantages are "in the mind".
4.51pm - Okay, that's the end of the questions from councillors to speakers. We're now beginning the debate.
4.37pm - Cllr John Galvin (Con, Bishopthorpe) asks whether the council would face a financial burden if the football club became unviable. Tim Atkins, the council's stadium project manager, replies. He says it's highly unlikely any football club would go "off the map" but says the majority of the football club's input to the project long-term will be rent, so the council would still have an asset. He says there may be some impact, but the stadium could be put to another use.
4.26pm - Sophie Hicks from York City FC is asked to clarify what the impact would be on the club's community activities if the plan was refused today. She is very emotional as she extols the virtues of the club's community work, and says that if the plan were refused, the club would have to cut its budget and would have no choice but to reduce the community and youth programmes. She said earlier than players were role models and had attended 70 events this season.
4.22pm - Slight panic there - it all went dark. Turned out someone had just lent on the switches by the door.
4.18pm - I've just done a head-count, and I think we've 168 people in the room at the moment. I've covered many planning meetings over the years and can't remember a turn-out like this. They're all here today - politicians past and present, sports fans, campaigners, lobby groups, developers, businessmen and women, council officials and many interested local residents.
4.14pm - We've also had some discussions about how much the developers involved the local community while preparing their plans, and about possible parking charges at either out-of-town shopping site.
4.05pm - Cllr Tracey Simpson-Laing (Labour, Acomb) asks Adam Sinclair about his earlier opposition to the Coppergate II proposals, coupled with his support now for the same site, now known as Castle Piccadilly. Mr Sinclair says he objected to the original plans on the basis of scale and the impact on Clifford's Tower.
3.45pm - We've not gone away - we've just been going through some quite slow questions on some technical points and claims from earlier. Roger Pierce former councillor and a former Ryedale planning officer, has answered questions from Paul Healey about the existing Monks Cross centre. He said when Monks Cross was built, there were restrictions deliberately put on the size of shop it could hold, and the type of goods shops could sell.
3.23pm - Speakers and councillors have taken a break and I've rested my typing fingers, but we're back on the go now. Councillors are questioning the speakers. Ann Reid asks Andrew Mills from John Lewis whether they've been approached about any other city-centre sites. Mr Mills says there have been some talks, but nothing that has led anywhere.
3.05pm - Okay, we're taking another brief break now. When we return in a few minutes, we will move on to questions from the committee to clarify any points, then debate on the Oakgate application After that, there will be debate on the cumulative impact of all applications. If you remember the timetable I posted at 9.30am - we have just finished point 2 of 5!
3.03pm - Green councillor Dave Taylor is the final of our 40 speakers. He says Oakgate's application is contrary to local and national policies. He tells the committee: "You would be putting York at risk by abandoning the principle of city-centre first." He also raises fears over traffic and the preservation of city centre businesses.
3.02pm - Local Conservative leader Ian Gillies congratulates York City on their on-pitch success but says he has fears over the business case for the stadium. He says it is weak and "full of ifs, maybes, whys and wherefores".
2.54pm - Sally Burns, the council's director of communities and neighbourhoods, speaks in support of the application. She says it would "inspire excellence".
Council leader James Alexander also speaks in support. He says it's York's biggest decision for years. He says developers should be made to employ a local workforce. He adds: "York has a vibrant city centre. People come here for a reason and this is the opportunity of a generation - we have to take tough decisions and I support this application."
2.42pm - Andrew Mills from John Lewis says nobody from LaSalle Venture Fund has made meaningful attempts to engage them in talks about Castle Piccadilly, and says two previous attempts to regenerate that site have failed. He says Monks Cross is their only opportunity to open in York. He says the firm would create local jobs, saying 82% of jobs at their new Stratford shop went to lcoal people.
2.40pm - John Handy from Marks and Spencer says the firm's model of a city-centre shop and an out-of-town one has worked well in Leicester and Bournemouth. He says the firm is fully committed to York city centre and says Monks Cross would complement their existing offer. He says the development would help York to compete with Leeds, Sheffield and Newcastle.
2.37pm - Neil McClean of the Leeds City Regional Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has spoken in favour of the application. So too has Richard Wood, on behalf of Oakgate. He said it was a "once in a lifetime opportunity" to show York was open for business and to send the football club to Wembley with a "massive vote of confidence". He said the roads problems would not be as bad as has been suggested.
Retail analysis Daniel Brown says York has a strong city centre, says the proposals would add £50m to York, and says the city-centre would recover from an initial dip within two years.
2.27pm - Susie Cawood, of York Chamber of Commerce, says the Chamber is pro-jobs, pro-investment and pro-growth. She says: "York cannot afford to be complacent. This is about much more than whether we want a John Lewis - it is about York showing the world it isa dynamic city - open for business, open for investment and open for economic growth."
She says the public perception of York is often that it is a city that wraps itself in cellophane and preserve its chocolate-box image, and says the city should show otherwise.
She adds: "Two big retailers want to invest. How can we say no? How can we deny young people the opportunity to get off the unemployment register? York city centre is thriving and the addition of more retail at Monks Cross will not mean the end of the city centre but additional jobs and additional wages being spent in the city."
2.24pm - We've had a flurry of speakers,all now in favour of the application. Sophie Hicks, York City's community and communications director, said the development would allow City to build on its existing community involvement. This season, players have attended 70 community events and she says a new stadium would enhance what they can do. She says the players are role models.
Frank Ormston, of the Minstermen Supporters Club, says: "It is Monks Cross or nothing. It is Huntington, or the slow lingering death of sport in this city."
Neil Hunter of York Athletics Club says the development is vital for the future of athletics in York. He warns that if it's rejected: "We would lose our hime and, ironically at the end of Olympic year, there would be no athletics club in York."
2.10pm - Jason McGill, York City chairman, receives loud cheers after his speech. Here's a snapshot of what he said: "York City has been an integral part of the local community since 1922. It is the only professional club in North Yorkshire and has proud history.
..."Since 2009, we will have made 4 appearances at the new Wembley, including twice in 8 days. On Saturday we won this FA Trophy and we hope to add to that on Sunday, hoping to win promotion to the Football League.
..."We are the largest regular gathering of York people - we have 3,000 people who gather 25 times a season. We are just as culturally important as the theatres, galleries and museums. The new stadium will be owned by the City of York Council, which ensures the long-term survival.
...."This is an opportunity to have a 21st-century facility we can be proud of - a chance to raise the facilities to the level befitting of this city."
2.05pm - Ian Yeowart says there were "stop progress" campaigns against the original Monks Cross, Clifton Moor and Designer Outlet. He adds: "You cannot stop progress and you should not stop comeptition."
2pm - Former council leader Steve Galloway speaks. He says that having been involved in the debate for years, it is right he nails his colours to the mast.
He says there is no alternative to the plan on the table. He adds: "There is no reason the city has to be divided in two. The great competition for this city is not between Monks Cross and the city centre. It will be between this city and Leeds. I hope members of the committee will ignore the hyperbole."
1.58pm - Peter Vaughan says the claims about the potential harm to the city centre are "nonsense". He adds: "Not to support this application sends an awful message - that York does not want to compete on behalf of its residents."
1.55pm - Prof Howard Hall of Active York speaks strongly in favour of Oakgate's plans. He says it will help to achieve the aims of the City of York Sport and Active Leisure strategy.
1.52pm - Janice Dunphy of Creepy Crawlies nursery also favours the plans. She says the community aspects of the stadium could help York to pioneer new approaches to play for children. She says: "Going forward, we cannot ignore this fantastic oportunity."
1.50pm - Neil Wilson of York Hospital speaks in support of the plans. The hospital would be involved in the community aspects of the stadium development. He says it would be a fantastic opportunity for health students and new practitioners to work alongside professional athletes, and for the hospital to work with partner organisations.
1.45pm - Adam Sinclair speaks against the plans. He says: "If we get this wrong, the best national and international brands and investors will not come to York city centre or stay in York city centre. They will leave us behind. Please do not risk the future of this spirited city and please do not risk the future reilience of the people of York."
1.35pm - Richard Lane, of York Green Party and Friends of the Earth, says traffic congestion is hindering growth in York, and says the Oakgate proposals would fuel congestion.
1.33pm - Denise Craghill, of York Green Party, says this is the wrong plan for York and urges councillors to vote no.
1.32pm - Peter Brown of York Civic Trust, say the proposal cheapens York's offer, undermines its integrity and makes a mockery of its aspirations to be a world0-heritage site.
1.29pm - Phillip Crowe, of York Tomorrow, says he's unconvinced that all alternative funding options for a stadium have been considered. He says the decision today should be deferred, so a plan for Castle Piccadilly can be drawn up.
1.28pm - Andy Shrimpton, who runs a shop on Bishopthorpe Road, says approving the Oakgate plan would show an "alarming paucity of vision for the long-term future of the city."
1.25pm - Nick Eggleton of the Campaign for York, opposes the plans. He says they would condemn the club, and tells councillors: "If you approve these plans, the council will be blamed for every problem - for every shop that shuts and every job lost." He says other out-of-town stadia have lost money.
1.18pm - James Owens, of the Castle Piccadilly developers, LaSalle Venture Fund, says a new stadium and new shops is appealing but says it will hurt the city centre.
He says: "Existing out of town shopping has caused harm and the city centre has been progressively weakened. These proposals are a major step change and would result in out-of-town shopping exceeding the city centre."
He adds: "If permission is granted today, a comprehensive retail-led regeneration for Castle Piccadilly will not be able to happen. Oakgate is not a choice between investment and non-investment. You can have jobs and be open for business in a position that will aid the city centre."
His speech draws applause from many in the public seats.
1.10pm - Former councillor Roger Pierce speaks in opposition to the Oakgate proposal, and says York City's FA Trophy success (the trophy is here on show), demonstrates that on-pitch success is not dependent on the stadium.
1.09pm - It may be useful to provide a link to the full agenda for today's meeting. Here it is if anyone wants it: agenda link
1.03pm - Council planning officer Michael Jones says the council has received 2,967 letters supporting the Oakgate application and 2,405 opposing it. Council has not had time to check for duplicates, he says. 5,372 submissions is a huge response though. Very few applications, if any, have come close to that in York.
1pm - We are back on here at the Henley Suite at The Park Inn Hotel, and moving on to look at the stadium application by Oakgate. Bill Woolley, City of York Council's director of city strategy, tells the meeting the lack of a recommendation to approve or refuse was unusual, but reflected the sharp contrast between the potential benefits and harms. He also says it's an unusual application, due to the 'enabling' development proposed in the form of the big shops helping to pay for the stadium.
That lack of recommendation had drawn criticism last week from opponents of the development. Ordinarily, council planning officers give a clear recommendation to the planning committee to refuse or approve an application, but this one was left entirely to councillors.
12.20pm - We are stopping now for a half-hour lunch break.
12.15pm - This application is to vary an earlier restriction on Monks Cross, which would reduce the minimum size for any single shop, thus allowing retailers to open smaller stores there. James Owens, for the developer, earlier named two companies that he said wanted to stay at Monks Cross but which would prefer smaller units - namely WH Smith and shoe-shop Clark's.
12.10pm - Okay, after a short break we are back up and running in the Henley Suite again. We're now looking at application 4b, which is the second element of the Monks Cross expansion plan. The separate plan by Oakgate, involving the community stadium, is still some way off.
11.43am - Cllr Ann Reid (LD, Dringhouses and Woothorpe) says she too sympathises with the Monks Cross applicants, but says their plans look too flexible. She says she's "uncomfortable" that it's not clear what the end result would be if planning permission were granted here.
She and Cllr Brian Watson both point out that the original Monks Cross was approved by the old Ryedale Council, drawing people away from York. Cllr Reid says it's ironic that Ryedale now objects to the expansion.
11.42am - Cllrs Andy D'Agorne (Green, Fishergate) and Paul Firth (LD, Haxby and Wigginton), both raises concerns, including over traffic problems. Cllr Paul Healey (Con, Rural West York), says he sympathises with the Monks Cross developer having to have the application heard on the same day as the stadium plan, but says he is minded to approve.
11.32am - Cllr Brian Watson (Lab, Guildhall) - "I think that if we do this, we are going to kill the city centre." .... "If we let things like this go, then the ball will be further away and even York City will not get it in the goal."
11.30am - We're on to debate now on the Monks Cross expansion. Stadium application to follow later.
Cllr Ken King (Labour, Clifton( says the opponents of the Monks Cross expansion have "over-egged" their case and says some of those opposing out-of-town shopping now have out-of-town shops of their own. He says: "I for one will be supporting the application."
Cll Joe Watt (Conservative, Skelton, Rawcliffe and Clifton Without), sounds supportive of the application as well, and warns says that if the Castle Piccadilly developers' case is so weak that they would walk away if Monks Cross were expanded "then you have no business case at all".
11.20am - Discussion now on bus links, and the extent to which the Monks Cross developers couldd/should pay for improved public transport links.
11.10am - We're on a slightly slower stage in the meeting now, where councillors can ask the speakers or their own officers to clarify any points they're unclear on, or which were raised in the speeches.
Phillip Crowe, from York Tomorrow, was asked to clarify what his group wanted at Castle Piccadilly. He says: "We have always taken the view that we would like to see a major public amenity on that site." He says that at the time of the previous proposals for Coppergate II, rejected at public inquiry ten years ago, his group did not object to commercial development - simply the scale proposed then.
10.50am - Huntington and New Earswick councillors Keith Hyman and Carol Runciman (both Lib Dem) say not enough has been proposed to deal with the likely increase in traffic if Monks Cross is expanded. Cllr Runciman says local people would worry about not being able to get out of their drives if traffic increased.
10.40am - Andrew Collier from Indigo Planning, representing the Monks Cross Shopping Park, says their application will safeguard the future of the shopping centre and safeguard long-term jobs.
He says retailers' demands have changed since the centre was built 15 years ago, and says the centre must adapt to meet those demands. He says many big name chains would leave if their leases expired tomorrow, rather than renewing them. But he says: "Every one of those retailers would stay" if there were bigger stores.
His colleague, Tim Waring, says their application is much more modest than Oakgate's plans for a stadium and two new superstores and says he is "bemused" that council officials have recommended refusal for his client's plan.
10.30am - Paul Thompson, boss of Barnitts in the city centre, says that if people were offered free parking at the edge of the city, or charged to park in the centre, they would choose the former.
10.28am - James Owens, of LaSalle Venture Fund, which is behind the Castle Piccadilly plan, says the city-centre's share of York's retail industry has fallen in the past decade, and says the Monks Cross developers have not shown that the new shops cannot be accommodated in the city centre.
10.25am - First speaker is Phillip Crowe, representing the lobby group York Tomorrow. He says the Castle Piccadilly site has been in limbo and a "disgrace to York" since previous plans were rejected, and he fears the new proposals at Monks Cross could hinder fresh plans to develop that city-centre site.
10.18am - The council's legal officer Martin Blythe says it is "unusual" for council officials not to have made a clear recommendation on the stadium application, but says it's perefectly legal and an approach followed by many other planning authorities.
10.15am - Lib Dem councillor Nigel Ayre has withdrawn from the meeting due to a possible conflict of interests, having been involved in an earlier advisory group on the stadium. No substitute, so we are one down.
10am - And we're about to get underway here. The next few hours will shape the future of York and the city's football and rugby clubs. The decision rests with Councillors Cunningham-Cross, Ayre, Firth, Reid, D'Agorne, Healey, Watt, Galvin, Simpson-Laing, Williams, Burton, Boyce, King, McIlveen, Funnell and Watson.
9.45am - The room is filling up. We're told there are 40 public speakers registered, on top of all the applicants and developers. Various officials from York City FC are here too - and they've brought the FA Trophy with them.
9.30am - We're in the Henley Suite here at The Park Inn, and it's already filling up, with half an hour to go until we start. Here's the running order for today:
1) The two applications that relate to the existing Monks Cross shopping park will be heard and debated in full.
2) The stadium application will be heard and debated in full.
3) Councillors will consider and debate the cumulative impact of all applications.
4) Councillors will vote in turn on the two applications on the existing Monks Cross.
5) Finally, councillors will vote on the stadium application.
8.50am - Good morning. Today is D-Day for the plans to build a new community stadium and two new superstores for John Lewis and Marks & Spencer on the edge of York.
We'll be covering the meeting live from The Park Inn Hotel in North Street. Council planning meetings are usually held in Guildhall, but this one has been moved here to accommodate the large number of speakers and a possible large turnout in the public gallery. The meeting is due to begin at 10am, and we will have up-to-the minute coverage as it unfolds.
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