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Partnership agreed for York brownfield development

Words: Laura Edgar
City of York

A 35-hectare brownfield site in York is set to undergo major redevelopment to deliver more than 400 homes and a substantial amount of office space.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed by City of York Council and Network Rail to deliver the development, which has been described as a turning point in the history of the site and the city. The two partners will work together to deliver a minimum of 480 new dwellings and up to 80,000 square metres of office space.

The MoU is the first step towards a formal partnership that aims to start a first phase work on the development site in 2015. Kersten England, chief executive of City of York Council, has explained that the agreement is a milestone in the relationship with Network Rail, which has been developed over the past three-and-a-half years.

The council has invested up to £10 million from its Economic Infrastructure Fund (EIF) in a bid to kick-start the development of the York Central site. To date, £27 million has been raised for transport infrastructure to and from the site and Station Gateway from the West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund. A further £1.65 million will come from the Leeds City Region Local Growth Fund for site remediation. In addition, the council and Network Rail have been working together to attract funding from central government.

Since last year, the two partners have been working on an initial masterplan for the development, which the public will be able to see and have their say on during a consultation in the coming months.

James Alexander, leader of the council, said: “The development of York Central is crucial so that we can continue to grow the city’s economy, meet our long-term office development needs and address our expanding population’s need for new homes.

“At the same time as providing these much-needed jobs and homes, the development will be regenerating a very large under-used and unsightly area of land in the city.”

Phil Verster, managing director for Network Rail’s LNE & EM route, said: “This is a very positive step towards developing this challenging site. We have been working hard with City of York Council to produce a plan which will allow phased and achievable development, and which uses this large piece of land to maximum benefit for York residents and businesses alike.”