Clare Burnett

Member Article

8,000 jobs and £600 million investment for York with brownfield development

The development of one of Europe’s largest city centre brownfield sites, York Central, is set to receive approval at a Cabinet meeting next month.

To help kick-start development as soon as 2015, Cabinet will be asked to approve proposals to earmark £10m from the £28million Economic Infrastructure Fund, enabling the potential to develop 80,000 sq m of new commercial space.

It will create 8,000 jobs, over 1,000 homes, and generate an estimaed £600 million for York’s economy.

This comes after significant progress on the White Swan, Castle Piccadilly, the Bonding Warehouse, Hungate, the old British Sugar site (which Bdaily reported on here) and in the New Year Nestle South.

Funding will be used to deliver vital site infrastructure, including essential site access, which will allow private sector investment.

A second and linked report will ask members to agree a land swap with Network Rail that both secures the access route into the site and allows Network Rail to consolidate its operational and maintenance activities and therefore securing local employment.

As part of the deal, additional land nearby will be transferred to the council in order to reserve a potential access corridor for a new bridge to be constructed to allow access into the York Central site from the A59.

The site has a strong railway heritage and very close ties with the railway industry and the council is committed to ensuring that through any redevelopment this sector continues to prosper and that York is positioned as a 21st century hub for operational rail employment.

Cllr James Alexander, Leader of City of York Council, explains: “This is York’s most significant brownfield sites and the largest that has been left derelict for a generation.

“We are serious about this development and getting York building. This development will ultimately create 8,000 jobs for York residents and deliver 1083 homes for York residents whilst putting £600m a year into our local economy.”

Cllr Dave Merrett, Cabinet Member for Transport, Planning and Sustainability, said: “At 35 hectares, of which approx 26 acres are planned to be developed, York Central has huge potential to meet these needs, in a location that has some of the best sustainable transport links in the region.

“Through this significant investment and schemes like the Get York Building programme, the council aims to provide more sustainable homes in York to help the local economy, unblock the house building market, provide a much-needed boost to employment, whilst creating a knock on impact in the wider prosperity of the city.”

A masterplan and supplementary planning guidance to inform this approach will be produced over the coming months and will undergo public consultation.

Phil Verster, route managing director for Network Rail, said: “This is a challenging site to develop and we have been working hard to produce a plan which will allow phased and achievable development. We have outline plans for the development of a residential site close to Leeman Road. The new road will provide improved access to the site and allow future development of the business areas once there is a commercial business case and remaining barriers have been removed”.

Cabinet will take place on Tuesday 3 December at West Offices from 5.30pm and is open to members of the public or is available to watch live online here.

Both reports are available to view here.

A further report will be brought early 2014, which will set out in greater detail the proposed areas of expenditure, and the wider financial arrangements associated with the proposal. There is also potential for a further employment or residential site which can be developed in the future as part of York’s draft Local Plan

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Clare Burnett .

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