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York Minster reveals emerging draft Neighbourhood Plan proposals  

17 May, 2019

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York Minster reveals emerging draft Neighbourhood Plan proposals  

A new public square dedicated to Her Majesty the Queen – the first in the city of York in nearly 200 years – is one of the proposals in the emerging draft Neighbourhood Plan for the York Minster Precinct, published for consultation today.

Queen Elizabeth Square is part of a wider city initiative to improve Duncombe Place at the Minster’s west front by creating a new civic space for York and a ceremonial space for the county.

The new square will be pedestrianised and landscaped to provide a pleasant seating area for visitors, creating a comfortable and safe protected space where people can gather for major events such as Christmas markets and other activities.  Access for local residents, businesses and the taxi rank will be retained.

A life-sized statue of the Queen, will be installed on one of the empty niches at the front of the Minster. Honouring her long reign on the throne, the statue will be carved by a stone mason from the Minster’s internationally renowned Stoneyard.

Queen Elizabeth Square is among the proposals in Phase 1 of the Neighbourhood Plan. The other key developments include:

Phase 2 of the plan will focus on enhancements in education and learning with investment in the Minster School and the Old Palace to make it a centre of excellence for education, learning and as a museum space.

Last May, York Minster launched a public consultation on the future development and use of the buildings and land within the Minster boundaries. 290 responses were received and the feedback was used to develop and refine the proposals in the Neighbourhood Plan published today.

Commenting on the consultation, Alex McCallion, Director of Works and Precinct at York Minster said the emerging Neighbourhood Plan was the result of detailed collaboration with the Minster’s immediate neighbours, the wider local community and statutory bodies including City of York Council and Historic England. Alex said:

“The future of the Minster Precinct is hugely important to many people, particularly to those who live and work in the neighbourhood. An early outcome from last year’s consultation was the establishment of a neighbourhood forum to ensure that any proposals are viable, sustainable and appropriate for the precinct and the local area.

“The York Minster Precinct Neighbourhood Forum was formally adopted by City of York Council in March.  Chaired by local resident Mark Calvert, the forum is now 39 strong and will ensure the Neighbourhood Plan is community-led.”

Alex added that the proposals for Queen Elizabeth Square at Duncombe Place – a city wide initiative – will completely transform the public space at the west end of the Minster.  He explained:

“The draft Neighbourhood Plan has become the catalyst for one of the most significant and exciting civic improvement projects anywhere in the country. This is a tremendous opportunity for the city of York to create an outstanding and accessible new public square that draws people to the space and is sympathetic to the city’s history and heritage.”

You can view all the proposals, and ask questions, in person on Friday and Saturday or online from Friday afternoon here. The online feedback survey will also be available from there until Sunday 10 June 2019.

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