THE Minster has dropped controversial plans to fell a large tree outside the cathedral's west front and to build a new visitor centre building.

A revised plan for the York Minster Neighbourhood plan will see all trees managed and new visitor facilities, originally planned to be part of a new building to the right of the south entrance, remain located in existing buildings.

The move follows concerns from members of the public throughout the consultation period.

More than 50 respondents raised their concerns over the proposals to remove two London Plane trees at the West End of the cathedral, and the Minster said this would now not be part of the revised plan.

In a statement, the Minster said there was support for new visitor facilities, but some people were concerned about housing them in new buildings on the lawns under the South Quire Aisle.

The new visitor facilities will now be located in existing buildings to the south of the Minster.

It added that plans to improve access to the city walls will be considered as part of the project to develop the Old Palace in a later phase of work in the precinct.

Meanwhile, proposals for a cycle path in Deangate, and a new public square dedicated to the Queen, including a statue of the monarch at the front of the cathedral, will remain.

This is despite 21 objections to the statue, with reasons varying between republican sentiment and a belief that it did not represent York.

There was also support for the development of a pedestrianised public square at Duncombe Place that will include the South African War Memorial, moving the main visitor entrance to the South Door and reserving the West Door for ceremonial services, and creating a new museum space dedicated to housing the Minster’s extensive collection linked to the Old Palace.

Final amendments will be now be incorporated into the draft plan, before being submitted to City of York Council, which will carry out a final consultation before the plan is submitted for independent examination by a planning inspector.

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