Clifford Tower: York Council may withdraw land offer

York City Council is considering whether or not to withdraw the offer of a long leasehold of a plot of land to English Heritage.

Clifford's Tower

It follows an announcement by English Heritage that they have scrapped plans to build a visitor centre at the base of Clifford’s Tower in the city.

City of York Council’s Executive will now consider whether to withdraw the offer for land which is part of Clifford’s Tower car park and was originally part of a package to support English Heritage plans to build a £5.2m visitor centre at the foot of the tower.

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English Heritage announced their intention to stop development plans after the council revealed plans for Castle Gateway. Councillors Ian Gillies and Andrew Waller, Leader and Deputy Leader of City of York Council jointly, issued a joint statement.

They said: “English Heritage have made clear they no longer plan to build a visitor centre at the foot of Clifford’s Tower.

“After English Heritage announced their intention to no longer proceed, residents told us they were concerned construction could still go ahead as planning was still in force.

“As a result we have decided to review the offer of leasehold of the land making it clear that the original visitor centre plans will not go ahead. We remain committed to working in partnership with English Heritage about this important site and it is hoped that the Executive will decide not to proceed with the land sale.”

English Heritage announced earlier this month that it would not proceed with the project.

The plan for a tourist building at the mound below the tower sparked public opposition and a High Court challenge after planning permission was granted.

The decision not to go ahead with it was made after separate plans were announced for a £30m city centre redevelopment scheme. It also follows a new North of England Director, Andrea Selley, being appointed by English Heritage.

The stone Clifford’s Tower was built in the 1250s replacing an earlier wooden structure.