York Central

“Inspired by the city’s wonderful railway heritage and historic character, York Central will be a unique district of new spaces and places that stimulates further cultural and economic prosperity by connecting residents and visitors, new, young and old.”


York Central Partnership would like to thank you for visiting this York Central access consultation website.

This website has been provided to obtain your views on a number of options for new access routes into the York Central site. We are displaying information that will help you to form these opinions and would be very grateful if you would share your views via the ‘Feedback’ link on this website.

Construction of a new access will permit the future development of the York Central site, unlocking land for the creation of new residential neighbourhoods, new employment opportunities, new parks and public spaces and for further development of the National Railway Museum.

Three deliverable options are being consulted on – two from the west and one from the south. York Central Partnership seeks your input to better understand what the impact of each option might be on you and the wider community and this will complement an assessment criteria which considers factors such as construction viability, transport, heritage, air quality, noise, ecology and cost. Only one of the three options will be selected by York Central Partnership and this will be incorporated into the masterplan.

When giving your feedback, please consider:

What are your hopes and concerns for each of the access options?

What are you most concerned about e.g. noise, pollution, retention of heritage and/or environment etc?

Which of the access options do you think will make it easier for communities to access the site, the city and its amenities?

What do you think will be the overall impact on local communities?

Whatever your thoughts, we’d like you to help us reach a decision on which option to take forwards.

Thank you for your help.

Design principles

York Central Partnership comprises the Homes & Communities Agency, Network Rail, National Railway Museum and City of York Council. The partnership consulted with the public in 2016 through the ‘Seeking Your Views’ event and the findings informed ongoing work to create a masterplan for the project.

This access options consultation forms part of the ongoing work to create a masterplan based on the following principles which were informed by the 2016 Seeking Your Views consultation:

Maximise existing assets, parks, riverfront, industrial heritage and transport centres

Integrate new neighbourhoods and communities with those surrounding the site in a sustainable way

Seek a mix of uses to create a new part of the city which is memorable and distinctive

Prioritise healthy lifestyles with an emphasis on walking, cycling and sustainable movement patterns

The ability to respond to the changing needs of people and the economy over the period of development

A deliverable approach which gives confidence and certainty to the development of new homes and work space

We are still at a very early stage in the development of York Central. As the masterplan progresses, there will be several chances for York residents and city visitors to express opinions on key aspects of the scheme’s design and use – this website providing one of those opportunities.

Public events will take place in Autumn regarding the wider masterplan and this website will also be updated. We’d ask you to remember that the masterplan is the beginning of a process, not the end. It will not deliver a fixed plan for buildings to be constructed but will instead create a framework built on strong principles that will guide future development and help to safeguard quality and site heritage. Additionally, it will establish criteria that investors and developers must satisfy if they wish to put forward plans, ensuring that any future development is right for the city.


This period of consultation will inform our decision regarding which access option to incorporate into the masterplan. However, it does not signal the end of our public engagement – a significant formal consultation event will take place in Autumn where we will once again invite members of the public to express their opinions on a much wider variety of subjects including temporary land uses, housing types, amenities and the impact of development activity on existing communities. Thereafter, there will be further ongoing consultation throughout the project.


St Barnabas Church, Jubilee Terrace, Leeman Road – 2:00pm to 5:00pm, Wednesday 23 August 2017

St Paul’s Church, Holgate Road – 4:00pm to 8:00pm, Wednesday 30 August 2017

Marriot Room, Explore Library, Library Square, Museum Street – Midday to 4:00pm, Saturday 2 September 2017

Duchess of Hamilton Suite, National Railway Museum, Leeman Road – Midday to 4:00pm, Saturday 9 September 2017

York Central is a large area of brownfield land (land previously developed but no longer in use), formerly in railway use, which is located west of York Railway Station.

Approximately 60 times larger than the footprint of York Minster, it is a land-locked site, some of which has not been used for more than 150 years. Our plan is to open it up and transform it in order to bring a valuable piece of York city centre back to life.

Our vision is for York Central to feature a series of new places , including new residential neighbourhoods, office space, leisure facilities, green space and public amenities. Together they will encourage further cultural and economic growth and connect the city’s residents and visitors.

It will be inspired by York’s railway heritage and its historic character.

It’s a partnership between four bodies – Network Rail, the Homes & Communities Agency, City of York Council and the National Railway Museum – who between them own the land that forms York Central.

Our role is to create the masterplan for the site and to manage the subsequent delivery of all development.

A masterplan is the beginning of a process. It is a flexible framework, built on strong principles that will guide future development and help to safeguard quality and site heritage. It is not a fixed plan for the final buildings which will be constructed, but will establish the criteria that investors and developers must satisfy if they wish to put forward plans, ensuring that any future development is right for the city.

What the masterplan will decide is a preferred access option, the basic infrastructure and layout, public realm, how the site will link to each other and surrounding neighbourhoods, an agreed mix of development for the site (residential / leisure / commercial), together with guidance on where the mix might be flexible, maximum building height and massing guidelines.

Currently we anticipate a first draft of the masterplan to be ready for discussion in October (2017) and there will be a public consultation process around the masterplan in November. We will be announcing the details of that consultation in due course.

There will be a number of opportunities for individuals and community groups to put their views forward to the Partnership, as well as to City of York Council when the outline and detailed planning applications are submitted next year (2018).

The first opportunity is around the site access options.

Given such a large area, we need to identify the best way for vehicles to get in and out of the site. There is access currently via Cinder Lane, but the existing road network can only support a limited amount of additional traffic. This is not straightforward as the site is surrounded by railway lines, so access will need to be carried over these lines.

A number of access routes were originally considered, but as we developed the proposals and looked into the viability of each option we had to rule several out, either because the engineering challenges would be too complex and expensive to overcome, or because there is land ring-fenced for rail use that we would be unable to access before funding for this access expires in 2021. Funding which is critical to the delivery of York Central.

Each of the remaining options has advantages and disadvantages, so before any decision is made we are inviting the views of York’s residents via a series of public events being held around the city during August and September.

Following a great deal of investigation by the development team there are three remaining access options for the York Central site, to the west (Water End) and south (Holgate Road). It is those three options that the access consultation is based on.

The remaining options represent a balance between the complexity of delivery, the impact and benefits they can bring to the existing road network, and the impact they may have on local residents. The overall cost of each option will also play a role in any final decision, but it is not the deciding factor.

That’s why we are holding public consultation events, to further explain the opportunities and challenges that each option brings, and to take on board their opinions.

Following detailed investigation, the other access options that were originally considered have had to be ruled out because of several factors, but in particular that the access could not be delivered by 2021 – the deadline for the vital West Yorkshire Transport Fund financial support.

For example, York Yard South and the Holgate Works are key to the regional rail network. The expansion of Holgate Works by Network Rail for rail engineering purposes will require additional rail lines to the west of the existing building and will also include development of a modern Maintenance Delivery Unit for the company, while York Yard South is required for continued operational rail use until 2023 at the earliest.

The three options from Poppleton Road, to the south of the site, would have to cross a significant swathe of railway infrastructure, and construction could also not start until at least 2023.

The consultants for the scheme have undertaken a review of the three options in terms of constructability and environmental impacts.

The partnership will review the information contained in the review and will also take into account the representations made by groups and individuals both before and during the consultation period. The partnership will make a final decision on a preferred location for the access bridge and road based on all that information.

The review by the consultant team is based on a wide range of criteria, such as the impacts of construction and townscape, and of noise and air quality. It also considers how the access will integrate in to the existing road network and any improvements which can be provided through the new access route.

However, the partnership’s ultimate decision on a preferred access option will also be based on a number of principles, including maximising the opportunities for sustainable transport, such as walking and cycling, and allowing easy access through the site to key destinations, communities and amenities across the city.

We must also take into account that the access route will require West Yorkshire Transport Fund and Enterprise Zone funding. The Transport Fund funding expires in 2021 and without it the scheme cannot be delivered, so access needs to be delivered by then. All three options under consideration can, technically, be delivered within that timescale.