CONSTRUCTION of an access road into the massive York Central redevelopment site could start next year if senior councillors approve proposals next week.

City of York Council’s executive will consider finding a construction partner for the scheme to build a bridge and spine road from Water End into the 72-hectare site behind York Railway Station.

A new access road has long been seen as crucial to opening up the housing and office development, which is set to drive the city’s economy and create vital jobs, housing and quality public spaces, said a spokesman.

He said the positioning of the road was decided following extensive public consultation by the York Central Partnership, which is delivering the regeneration of the site, last year.

“The council will take the lead on the design and construction of the access road before 2021, in order to take advantage of available funding from the West Yorkshire Transport Fund.”

Acting council leader Andrew Waller said: “Regenerating this site is vital to grow our economy and provide housing. Thanks to the efforts of the York Central Partnership, we are overcoming the barriers to take this once in a lifetime opportunity to unlock York Central’s potential as an exemplar sustainable development”.

“I welcome the news that the partnership is improving the community engagement on the project.”

The spokesman said the construction partner would deliver key infrastructure, including the access bridge and spine road, while the contract could potentially be extended to deliver public open space.

“The York Central Partnership has announced a special consultation which will help to develop the masterplan, which will be considered by the council’s executive in June. The ‘Festival of York Central’ will begin on Monday, March 19, and will go beyond conventional community consultation.

“It will use social media, conversation evenings, walk’n’workshop site tours, web and blog content and speaking events. There will also be opportunities to meet with the four partners, the consultant team behind the evolving masterplan and local councillors.”

He said the executive would also be asked to dispose of the freehold of five per cent of council land holding at York Central to Homes England at market value to simplify land ownership on the site and to use this capital receipt to fund the Central project costs.

“This land includes the Fermatol trading estate off Leeman Rd and the private car park near to Carlisle Street.” The executive would also be asked to commit £907,000 of further funding from the £10 million allocated budget to take the project through to planning determination.