PLANS to build a mini-golf course in the shadow of several historic York monuments have been described as “little short of vandalism” by opponents of the scheme.

More than 60 objections have been lodged with City of York Council over York Mini Golf Ltd’s plans to install a course for seven years.

According to planning documents: “12 holes are proposed, each with its own historic reference and focus. 

“It represents a low key and low impact use, which will bring people into a richly historic part of York, which is often ignored and unappreciated by visitors to the city.”

The course would be built on the grass beside York Explore Library, also known as Mint Yard, between the ruins of St Leonard’s Hospital and the Roman wall and Multangular Tower.

Holes would include ‘Roman York’, ‘Viking York’ and ‘Chocolate York’, with each one having information boards giving details of a particular time in York’s history.

Part of St Leonard’s Hospital, believed to have been the largest medieval hospital in the north of England, would be used as a ticket office.

Guildhall ward councillor Janet Looker has asked for the application to be called in, meaning it will be scrutinised by a planning committee. 

York Civic Trust has objected to the idea, though English Heritage does not consider the plan would harm the area and said the plan could be a “chance to interpret York’s history to a different audience”.

The trust said in a statement: “Library Lawn is an inappropriate location for a mini-golf course due to its sensitive historic location and value as a secluded green space in the centre of York.”

The course “would introduce elements of modern commercial activity and entertainment,” they added.

John Willets, a tour guide with York’s Association of Voluntary Guides, said in a statement to the council: “People travel to York for a history fix, not to play crazy golf.”

Gavin Baddeley said:  “As you look around there are rare Anglo Saxon walls, fine Victorian architecture, and the most substantial Roman building to be found in York, with a Second World War shelter beneath your feet.

“Dropping a novelty golf course on this feels little short of vandalism.”

He added: “The stag and hen parties that plague York at weekends will be drawn to this kind of silly activity like magnets.”

York Press: Plans for how the mini-golf course may look

Holly Robinson raised concerns about the impact on the library’s windows.

She wrote: “Yes, crazy golf is a horizontal version of golf but I think we can all agree that not everyone will keep the ball on the ground. How about a tennis court in the Minster instead?”

York Mini Golf said in its application that the attraction would be wheelchair accessible and that it would help the library financially, through rent and greater footfall at the cafe.