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Following a vote by City of York Council’s Executive, the Neighbourhood Plan prepared by the York Minster Neighbourhood Forum has been formally adopted.
The plan sets out a 15-year route map to create a sustainable future for York Minster and its seven-hectare estate, and will carry significant weight in the determination of future planning applications within the Minster Precinct.
Having been voted through in a community referendum of all residents on the electoral register within the Minster Precinct Neighbourhood Area last month, the council voted last night to formally ratify the plan.
This pioneering approach to planning signals the first time that a Neighbourhood Plan has been used to map the future care of a cathedral or heritage estate, and its delivery will herald the biggest planned programme of works within the Minster Precinct Neighbourhood Area in 150 years.
The first stage of the Neighbourhood Plan includes the creation of an internationally renowned Centre of Excellence for the heritage craft skills responsible for the continued care of the Minster.
If approved, this will offer apprentices from the Minster and its network of international partners the opportunity to further develop their skills through cutting-edge digital techniques such as modern saw technology, data scanning and computer aided design.
Alex McCallion, Director of Works & Precinct at York Minster, said: “We are delighted that our trailblazing approach to planning has now been formally adopted by City of York Council, and want to thank our partners at the York Minster Fund and the York Minster Neighbourhood Forum, as well as the local community, for their support in helping to make this a reality.
“The Neighbourhood Plan will be crucial for allowing us to safeguard the Minster, creating a sustainable future for this hugely significant religious, historic and architectural monument, not just for York, but for millions around the world.”
Mark Calvert, Chair of the York Minster Neighbourhood Forum, said: “The York Minster Neighbourhood Plan is a genuinely community-led plan which intimately understands the complexities and sensitivities of planning for change both in a heritage setting and in a historic city such as York.
“It is the culmination of four years of hard work and extensive consultations, and with its official ratification, we are very proud to be leading the way for other heritage organisations to follow.”
Cllr Ashley Mason, Executive Member for Economy and Strategic Planning at City of York Council, added: “We have worked collaboratively with the Minster and its Neighbourhood Forum over a number of years to develop this pioneering Neighbourhood Plan and are pleased to support its formal adoption.
“The plan is truly unique in rooting itself in heritage to safeguard one of our city’s most significant and well known areas, whilst also embracing next generation technology and skills.
“The Minster is enormously important to York and, through delivery of the Neighbourhood Plan, we hope to work with our partners to cement its future for many generations to come.”
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