A SECURITY barrier of concrete blocks has now been installed in front of York Minster - as a retrospective planning application was submitted to planners.

The 12 blocks have been placed in a line outside the west end of the cathedral in an attempt to tackle the terrorist threat.

The Chapter of York, the cathedral’s governing body, has lodged an application to City of York Council for temporary planning permission.

It says the blocks are made of concrete manufactured from a reconstituted natural stone mix, using specially selected aggregates.

“The blocks have been manufactured to appear similar to Yorkstone with similar weathering qualities to quarried stone products,” it said in the application.

A council spokeswoman said she understood it was likely the application would be considered by officers under delegated powers, rather than by councillors on a planning committee.

A Minster spokeswoman said last week the decision to strengthen security was taken following recommendations from the Counter Terrorism Unit. The Dean of York, the Very Reverend Dr Vivienne Faull, inset, said Chapter had been concerned about the potential vulnerability of the area around the Minster’s West End for some time.

She said the national terror threat level had been at “severe” for many months and was likely to remain so for some time to come, with some experts believing we are facing a generational problem which may last for 20 or 30 years.

She said the appalling attacks in Manchester and London earlier this year had required everyone responsible for the security of nationally important buildings, monuments and public spaces to reassess, review and constantly refine their arrangements for keeping people safe.

She said the Counter Terrorism Unit had required the Minster to take “urgent and decisive” action to protect the area, and the protective barrier would provide a physical defence and will be a visible deterrent at the front of the Minster.

“The blocks are already in use at a number of high profile locations around the country including the Tower of London.”

She said the security barrier was a temporary measure, and the blocks would be removed if the security situation improved in the future.

Steve Brown, managing director of Make It York, said it was reassuring that York Minster had acted upon the recommendations and advice it had been given.”

Mr Brown added: "It is vitally important that York continues to be a safe place to live, work and visit.”