During the planning meeting for the Railway Museum’s central hall last week, it was clear that councillors’ hands were tied in that they were only able to consider the plans within the boundary of the application.

Yet the balance of benefit versus harm of the central hall is hugely related to the wider York Central project.

For example, councillors were confused over the car parking impact, which is not surprising since it depends on a wider York Central parking strategy yet to be defined.

They spent a long time debating pedestrian routes across the proposed Museum Square, which is also a separate planning application.

I spoke about the need to sequence the riverside path safety improvements before the museum construction starts to avoid simultaneous pedestrian route closures.

Surely the purpose of the York Central Partnership is to bring together York council, the Railway Museum, Homes England and Network Rail to form a coherent project? The railway museum’s position on the riverside route is that it’s a matter for York council to sort out. This completely misses the opportunity to hail it as a York Central Partnership success that mitigates some of the Railway Museum’s harm.

I spoke with NRM director Judith McNicol, and she explained the reason the Railway Museum hasn’t consulted with the public on the Walkway Agreement is because they are not obliged to. It’s a highways, not planning, issue.

Her position is technically accurate, but come on Judith, book a room in your conference centre and get us all talking around a table. A win-win outcome is possible!

David Finch,

Chair, Friends of Leeman Park,

Holgate, York