York City Council has been threatened with a judicial review of its decision to grant planning permission for a museum extension which critics say involves the removal of a vital road into the city for visitors pedestrians and cyclists.
Dr Paul Clarke, who is behind the legal challenge and who lives and works along the affected road, said he believed residents’ real concerns had been ignored by council during the process of planning.
The green-lit application will see the construction of a new central hall and cafe at the National Railway Museum.
The project’s footprint spans part of Leeman Road, a highway that runs near York Station and through the center of the city.
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Planning documents show Homes England and Network Rail received a Stop Order (SOU) from the Department for Transport last year which means motorway tolls will be waived on a 220m stretch of the road to make room for development.
Pedestrians will still be able to cross the museum via a designated footbridge implemented through a footbridge agreement under section 35 of the Highways Act 1980, but this path will only be open during museum opening hours.
According to the applicant, the road closure will remove the only direct and safe route to and from the city center for pedestrians and cyclists that is available year-round.
In a summary of his position posted on his mob justice page, Dr Clarke said that by closing the Leeman Road cycle and pedestrian path, the council had put the commercial interests of the museum “above the interests of the community. “.
Dr. Clarke instructed planning lawyers at Walton & Co.
More than £6,000 was donated to Dr Clarke, exceeding the original goal of £5,000. This covers the cost of a pre-action protocol letter sent by the plaintiff late last month (August 31).
According to the message, “much more” money will be needed to cover the legal costs associated with the judicial review.
The municipality has until mid-September to respond to the mail before complaint.
A spokesperson for York City Council said: ‘We have received a pre-action letter regarding the Planning Committee’s recent decision to approve an application for an expansion of the National Railway Museum. We are currently reviewing it and will respond accordingly.