A recent article in The Press reported the negotiations which have taken place between City of York Council (CYC) and the various bodies involved in the sale of Bootham Park.

Much was made of the agreement to give the public access to the grounds of the former hospital. I appreciate that cycle and

walking routs may be improved but people have used the grounds in this way for many years and schools regularly played sports and held sports days.

So it seems this agreement merely formalises what was already in place. While this may be a legal necessity it can hardly be

trumpeted as a major gain for the people of York.

Sadly, there was little reference to Early Retirement Living’s (ERL) planning application to demolish Grade II listed buildings or to significantly alter the interior of the Grade I part of Bootham Park.

This building is of great historical and architectural importance. It was built by public subscription and opened in 1777. It was designed by the notable architect John Carr and up to it’s closure in 2015, was the last psychiatric hospital still used for its original purpose.

The interior has many unique and beautiful features including Minton Tiled corridors, stained glass windows and pitched pine


As for ‘extensive public consultation’, CYC did hold several events which I attended.

Furthermore, Royal Pilgrim organised a further ‘consultation’ but perhaps it may be of interest to quote their website which says

they have ‘an unrivalled track record of successful delivery of planning permission and projects’.

So one could suggest that this consultation was not totally without bias.

Is York to lose this important part of its history? I recognise that in order to preserve Bootham Park, change will need to take place but surely this must not mean the partial demolition of some of the building or destruction of the interior of other areas of this beautiful listed building.

I am informed that the CYC planning meeting will discuss the matter early next year (date to be arranged).

I would urge all those who care about York’s heritage to attend and register to speak.

Ann Weerakoon

Fulford , York