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Scheme to modernise historic square is defended
6:27pm Friday 20th September 2013 in News
COUNCILLORS have defended a £490,000 scheme to modernise a historic square beside one of the best-preserved medieval roads in the world.
City of York Council said its 12-week scheme to repave and remodel King’s Square, leading to Shambles, followed concerns from retailers that the area was looking run-down.
The project, part of the authority’s Reinvigorate York scheme, will see rectangular cobbles replaced with paving slabs, improved seating and pedestrian access and spaces for street performers created.
Councillor Dave Merrett, cabinet member for planning, said: “The square needs quite a radical rethink to make it a world-class space and, by this transformation, we are going to provide a much better quality public space.”
Reinvigorate York chairman Sir Ron Cooke said: “King’s Square is not only looking run-down, it is also becoming much more congested and there is increasing competition for space among important activities, so the major aim of the project is to improve quality while creating more space and improving effectiveness.”
English Heritage urged the council not to remove any of the period features, including granite wagon tracks, and warned the stonework was an important historic feature of the squares.
A spokesman for the conservation group said: 'The square is an important part of York’s Conservation Area and the setting of numerous listed buildings.”
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