Clearance works to begin at major brownfield regeneration site

A new generation of jobs, housing, leisure and cultural facilities for York moves a step closer next week as early site clearance works will take place on the York Central site.

The work will prepare the area for the infrastructure to unlock the 42 hectare site, which will provide up to 2,500 homes; up to 1.2 million sq ft of commercial development as well as vastly improved visitor access experience at the National Railway Museum.

The area has enterprise zone status and will provide around 6,500 new jobs and a £1.2bn boost to the local economy.

Councillor Keith Aspden, leader of City of York Council, said: “With the economic impact of the pandemic becoming ever more apparent, it is essential that we continue to progress the city’s key regeneration sites, like York Central.

“It is a credit to the commitment and shared vision of the partners that we’ve managed to secure the funding, gain planning approval and now start on site works, despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic.

“York Central remains one of the most important and attractive regeneration sites in the country and is an opportunity that many other towns and cities in the UK would envy.”

The initial works include:
•    Creating the site compound and temporary access
•    Clearing vegetation on land owned by Homes England and Network Rail
•    Removing three disused buildings

All the work has been approved as part of the planning approval on the site, which included a detailed assessment of the heritage value of the buildings.

More than 300 mature trees will be planted during the next phases of infrastructure works, while the development also includes the largest park in the city for 100 years and areas to encourage biodiversity.

Cllr Nigel Ayre, executive member for finance and performance, said: “This is very welcome and positive news, and a reminder to all our residents that our city is ready to recover from the pandemic and attract the jobs and investment we need to achieve this.

“We’re working closely with lead contractor John Sisk and Son to limit any disruption to neighbouring residents and businesses, and to keep them informed of any works.”

York Central is being delivered in partnership by Network Rail, Homes England, National Railway Museum and City of York Council.

Homes England and Network Rail have supported the development of the site through land acquisition and master planning, and they will now oversee the infrastructure projects.

This infrastructure work is part of a wider £155m funding pot secured by the York Central Partnership to deliver infrastructure to open up the site for development.