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York proposes planning response to on-going Coppergate ambitions

Lessons learnt from Chapman Taylor Architects' doomed Coppergate scheme in York (AJ 02.10.03) have been incorporated into new planning guidelines for the city's historic Castle Piccadilly area.

Drawn up following discussions with both CABE and English Heritage, the draft document is to be used 'to guide prospective developers' on the 'look and feel' of future schemes surrounding the world famous Clifford's Tower.

York City Council hopes the new design principles will 'ensure the historic environment and River Foss are protected', and avoid the need for John Prescott to call in proposed developments, as he did with Land Securities' controversial scheme in 2003.

Under the draft guidelines, any redevelopment in the area would be retail led and would have to meet a number of key objectives. These include guarantees that the development would be of 'the highest architectural quality' and respect the setting and views of Clifford's Tower.

The announcement could not be more timely. The AJ has learnt Land Securities could again be on the verge of commissioning new plans for a large mixed-use development in the Castle Piccadilly quarter.

Consultation on the planned guidelines will be carried out throughout August, September and October, and it is hoped a final brief will be agreed later in the year.

by Richard Waite

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