The controversy surrounding York's hugely contentious Coppergate site looks set to flare up again at the beginning of the new year.
All has been quiet between the different warring parties since last year's Coppergate II inquiry into Chapman Taylor's retail plans for the site ended with the proposals being rejected.
However, York council's efforts to broker a deal between the different groups over the site's future, allowing for a new development for landowner Land Securities, look set to come to nothing.
Council officers have been negotiating between conservationists, developers and local groups to see if a brief for the site can be found. They have set a deadline of January 2006 for an agreement.
But a source close to the negotiations has told the AJ that no-one really believes a deal can be agreed over the extremely sensitive site.
'At the end of the day everyone is coming from completely different ends of the spectrum. It is an almost impossible task to reach a deal,' he said.
'There can't be much hope that a deal will be done by the new year,' he added.
Coppergate has been the site of two planning applications by Land Securities and Chapman Taylor over the last decade.
Last year's - known as Coppergate II - was notable for English Heritage backing the proposals and CABE objecting. by Ed Dorrell