York Central Partnership has announced it is proposing a western approach for the new road access into the York Central site.
The decision has been made based on the advice of technical experts and the access consultation feedback.
The partnership’s preferred choice for an access option from Water End will now go before the Council Executive for consideration on 15th November. If supported by the Council Executive, the preferred access will be progressed with further opportunities for public consultation as part of the statutory planning process.
Two separate western options were originally considered as part of the access consultation, but the partnership is now looking at combining elements of both of the western routes in order to minimise the impacts and cost implications of the preferred route.
Catherine Birks, commercial project manager for York Central Partnership, said: “This is a critical step forward in enabling the development of York Central, we believe a western option will provide the best solution for the project, the city and residents.
“The consultation events we held brought the issues residents and local communities are concerned about to the fore, and this, alongside the technical advice and evidence made it clear that a western access route is a more preferable option.
“What is most apparent from looking at the routes, and also a view expressed by many at the consultation events, is that the ideal solution is to develop a version combining elements of both western options that will not only minimise the impact on Millennium Green, but also avoid the need for a large span bridge and the full widening of Water End bridge.
“A combined option not only gives us some really clear benefits for the project but also takes into consideration the needs and concerns expressed by the communities and organisations that will be affected by this.”
There are three clear benefits in a western access route:
- the benefits for scheme design including better scheme layout, improved gateway and enhanced connectivity to existing communities;
- the environmental benefits of being able to provide a route into the site that is away from the Holgate Road/Wilton Rise communities; and,
- the potential for through traffic to be diverted away from the Leeman Road and Salisbury Terrace community with corresponding environmental benefits.
Now a preferred access option has been identified the detailed environmental and traffic impact assessments that will form part of the planning application in 2018 can take place. The work to mitigate against potential impacts of a western access route can also begin.
Catherine adds: “From the outset we have been committed to working with residents and local communities, to listen to their concerns and understand the issues and impacts and how we can work together to create a scheme that everyone can benefit from.
“Listening to the community has been a really important part of the process to date, and it is imperative that the views of residents and local communities continue to remain a priority and they can see their feedback is valued.
“Continuing to work closely with local groups and organisations to feed into the masterplan will form a significant part of the process over the coming months as we progress towards a much wider public consultation in early 2018.