The York Designer Outlet has withdrawn plans to create a temporary car park for 210 vehicles in a field south of the shopping centre at Fulford.

The move comes as the application was due to come before a meeting of City of York Council’s planning committee on Thursday.

Council planning staff had recommended refusal for the scheme, saying it was ‘inappropriate’ for the greenbelt, and the application, submitted in June, had insufficient information on potential impacts on traffic and lighting in the area.

The York Designer Outlet had said creating the 210-space car park in a 1.1ha field south of the outlet was needed “to address parking problems…particularly in the run up and over the Christmas period.”


The outlet presently has 2,700 parking spaces. It employs 1200 staff, half of whom will be onsite at any one time, a number that can rise to 800-900 over Christmas.

Staff are encouraged to use public transport, but many use cars, especially over Christmas when shift work is the norm for many. Over Christmas, the outlet also has its Winter Wonderland and Ice Rink, which uses some of the car park.

The application also said 200-500 car parking spaces are also occupied by users of the Park and Ride facility, many of whom are commuters.

The outlet sought to use the field from mid-October to Mid-January for three years to gauge its effectiveness. The car park would be for staff use only, and would feature metal track matting, lighting towers and a barrier to control access.

Gazette & Herald: The proposed site

A report prepared for the Thursday meeting says the designer outlet applied in 2019 to extend the shopping centre, relocate the existing park and ride and outdoor events space and create exptra parking.

However, this application for the extension has not yet been determined as Highways England seeks further information concerning traffic levels at the centre, something it also seeks concerning potential use of any temporary car park.

The report also notes Fulford Parish Council opposed the temporary car park plan, saying it would harm the green belt and generate extra traffic.

Fulford and Heslington city councillor Kate Ravilious had requested planning committee determine the application saying “it represents inappropriate development in the Green Belt and has the potential to cause additional harm to the openness and visual amenity of Green Belt land.”

The planners report concluded the temporary car park was inappropriate development for the greenbelt and it lacked the very special circumstances needed to justify its development.

Its planning application featured a lack of information concerning drainage, flood risk, biodiversity, ecological impact and residential amenity. It also lacked reports on traffic use and impacts. The scheme would also not protect or enhance the landscape.

Therefore, the proposal conflicted with both local and national planning policies and should be refused.