Planning challenges facing a city treasured by tourists

From: Brian Waddington, Dukes Wharf, Terry Avenue, York.

YOUR article (Yorkshire Post, August 15) regarding the proposed additional development at the Monks Cross Shopping Centre on York’s outskirts once again highlights the dichotomy which characterises this city.

On the one hand it is desired to keep the city centre vibrant and attractive to shoppers; on the other nothing must be done to disturb our ancient heritage which attracts millions of visitors each year.

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The citizens of York and the surrounding area are as much entitled to large modern shops as anywhere else, and if this cannot be provided within the city walls it is only right and proper that suitable out-of-town developments must be encouraged.

The opportunity to build a large shopping area in the Coppergate/Piccadilly area was rejected a decade ago after a lengthy public inquiry and the opportunity has now been lost due to subsequent developments.

There is little point in those people who wish to keep York purely as a tourist attraction bemoaning the possible city centre decay as a result of enterprises elsewhere.

In any event, our visitors generally do not come to visit large stores – they can find these where they live.

Rather they come to visit the many tourist attractions and the network of small streets with their specialist shops and markets.

Admittedly it is still necessary and desirable that the indigenous population continue to support the city centre.

Sadly, the costs of parking in
the city certainly encourage the use of out of town centres but if the place is attractive enough people will still continue to come and it is to this that the city council must look, rather than discouraging the new enterprises which are so much needed in
the area.

From: Nigel F Boddy, Fife Road, Darlington.

I AM very disappointed to see so many new properties standing empty. I wonder if we have to look no further than the poor quality of new build property for an explanation?

The abolition of basic standards known as the “Parker Morris”standards around 1981 did no one in this country any favours.

Housebuilders continue their greedy, sordid search for greater profits by skimping on standards. In the case of family firms their fathers and grandfathers would be thoroughly ashamed of the present generation.

Town planners working for local authorities and local councillors have to raise the bar of standards by refusing to grant initial planning applications for the construction of shoddy properties.

But the expensive threat of judicial review court cases to local authorities by big builders cannot be underestimated.

There must be huge pressure on local councillors to cave in to big developers schemes, however poor they may be.

The Government has to act because local councillors plainly do not have the stomach for the fight.

We must go back to Parker Morris.