YORK’S hopes of bringing a temporary Shakespearean theatre to the city next summer are facing opposition from the Ministry of Justice.

Court bosses are unhappy with the plan to build a temporary 950-seat theatre on the Castle car park, close to Clifford’s Tower and York Crown Court.

The planning application was lodged in late July with a decision deadline of September 21. Now papers show that while Historic England - one of the consultees - has given “in principle support” for the project, its heritage experts want some adjustments. Court bosses, by contrast, have made stronger objections.

A letter from the Ministry of Justice’s planning consultants GVA shows they are worried about noise from the theatre disturbing court hearings, and are unhappy that construction lorries plan to use the same access road used to bring prisoners to court.

GVA’s letter says: “The Ministry of Justice is highly concerned and therefore objects to the proposal to use part of the car park for the development of a temporary theatre as it will interrupt the smooth running of the Crown Court.”

It also points out that planning documents state lorries heading to the site will use the road for the crown court, off Tower Stree.

It warns: “It is imperative that the Crown Court has undisturbed access to the site during operational hours given the importance of York Crown Court hearing high-profile cases. It is vital that prison vans carrying these prisoners have uninterrupted access to the court.”

Meanwhile, Historic England has registered its support for the plan to bring Shakespeare’s Rose theatre to the city, but they have asked for the complex to be repositioned slightly.

Although the heritage experts are “very supportive” of the proposal, they are unhappy with the location of other buildings like the box office and food outlets. Rather than sitting closer to the Eye of York, Castle Museum and court building, they want the complex to run north to south, along the banks of the Foss, to keep open views of the Eye of York, and to make access to the museum easier.

Lunchbox Theatrical Productions want to open the theatre from next June to September, staging productions of Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Richard III. It already has the support of city councillors.