CALLS are growing for the planning permission granted for development of York's 'Roman Quarter' to be reviewed.

As reported in The Press in March, the entire site was put on the market just months after planning permission had been granted for an underground Roman museum, as well as 153 apartments, an 88-room aparthotel and 20,000 square feet of offices.

The site's owner Rougier Street Developments Ltd - which partnered with North Star to get planning permission - said it had 'decided to offer the opportunity to the market to try and secure delivery of the project and the interest of a partner with the ability to see the site delivered.'

But the decision sparked fury from some of the councillors who had agreed to approve the plans.

York Press: An artist's impression of how the Roman Quarter may lookAn artist's impression of how the Roman Quarter may look (Image: Planning submission)

Now Labour councillor Jonny Crawshaw, who was Vice Chair of the October planning committee hearing where the scheme was approved - although he voted against the scheme - has called for the decision to be reviewed.

"The formal planning approval notice has not yet been issued, meaning the scheme is not yet approved," he said.

"Had committee members been told that the applicant planned to put the site on the market so soon after the hearing I'm not convinced they would have reached the same outcome. In fact, the committee was split down the middle with half voting in favour and half against."

The application was eventually approved by the casting vote of the committee chair.


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Cllr Crawshaw has been backed in his call by Green leader Andy D'Agorne, who also voted against the scheme.

But Lib Dem leader Cllr Nigel Ayre, who voted in favour of the application last October, said there was no need for a review.

"Any future purchaser of the site would be tied to the same conditions and legal agreement as the original application," he said.

"Any potential change to the scheme would require a new planning application."

But Cllr Crawshaw says the circumstances have now altered so much that the application should be reconsidered - something he says he has been advised can be done within planning legislation.

York Press: An artist's impression of how the Roman Quarter should lookAn artist's impression of how the Roman Quarter should look (Image: Pic supplied)

Several councillors who spoke in favour of the application last October specifically mentioned the applicant's long-term commitment to the site as a factor, he says.

"It's clear that the fifty-year commitments made by the applicant were worthless. Given this, I believe it is vital that the current process is paused and councillors are given the opportunity to consider whether they remain happy with the scheme."

Cllr D'Agorne added: "Whilst we think the idea of a Roman Museum for York is great we do have serious reservations about these proposals as a way of achieving it.

"Rougier Street would benefit from improvements but the buildings proposed in this application are still far too high and over-bearing, no much-needed affordable housing is proposed and there are serious concerns about the viability of the scheme."

Local resident and campaigner Johnny Hayes also believes the council must act.

"City of York Council need to take action now to bring this development back to committee," he said. "Putting this site up for sale contradicts the promises made by the development partnership at the planning committee that gave permission."

The Press approached North Star for a comment.