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News: Farrell slams planning system as he reveals York scheme

Terry Farrell has unveiled his controversial plans to overhaul the historic centre of York - along with some barbed criticism of the planning system in this country and support for the continued role of the rfac.

The practice, which has been involved on the scheme for over seven years, has aimed to link the Coppergate area to its surroundings via two new bridges across the river Foss and new buildings.. With a working title of 'Coppergate II', but made up of a series of new 'places' already named as Castlegate, Castlewalk, Clifford's Walk, Foss Bridge and Piccadilly Arcade, the scheme also aims to plan streets and walks rather than a retail mall. It includes new shop units with residential above at Castle Chambers and Castle Court facing the historic Clifford's Tower, two new bridges and a new riverside walk and mooring.

But the project has had its detractors, notably the York Alliance (aj 19.11.98)headed by architect Philip Crowe, which believes the scheme is entirely 'commercially driven'.

Farrell said that planning and consultation in Britain, and particularly in this case, was 'extraordinarily drawn out' - despite a consultation process led by York planners over seven years, the scheme which sought to answer criticisms still sparked a heated debate. In the uk people found it easier to campaign afterwards than join in consultation before and during, he said. He added that the rfac, on the other hand, had been 'constructively involved, concentrating on urban design issues' and making a 'real difference'.

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