York station works tipped for refusal
Proposals to reimagine the listed station’s front entry porte-cochère, already rejected once, have again received a frosty reception from planning officers.
Façade restoration, re-flagging and the introduction of two retail pods are among the changes proposed for the portico, but it is the intention to enclose the structure’s arches with glazing that have met stiff resistance.
City of York’s planning committee will consider plans on 9 November for the revamp of the arrival point as part of the £25.7m York Station Gateway project.
The application follows the award of a £7.8m civils contract to John Sisk & Son in September at part of the gateway project.
SEED Architects is the designer, working for LNER. Within the context of the wider gateway plan, the portico is to be pedestrianised and provide a more human environment than the current car-heavy situation
Included within the project are:
- Glazing to openings
- Introducing two retail pods along with seating area and barriers
- Repaving in Yorkshire flagstones
- Removal of the bus canopy, and making good the façade following this removal
- Removal of redundant clutter, such as cables
- Installation of four digital advertisement panels and two departure screens
The refurbishment/restoration of the porte-cochère itself will include repairs and repointing to brickwork/stonework where spalled, weathered and fractured; and the reinstatement of missing bricks.
Repainting will see heritage colours brought back, with reroofing and timber work to be carried out where required.
The application is a reworking of a scheme refused in April.
In its design & access statement, SEED describes how the returning of the portico to pedestrian use is made possible by the reworking of all vehicle routes and transport access around the station, in other parts of the masterplan, with a pedestrian supercrossing to be introduced in place of two current crossings.
Addressing concerns about the retail pods, SEED said they are as small and unobtrusive as the market will realistically accept, and that without them the refurbishment project is unviable.
Officers said: “There is currently a clear architectural language displayed by the porte-cochère that symbolises its original design intention.
“The proposals to glaze the porte-cochère confuse an appreciation of the aesthetic and architectural special interest of this heritage asset. The position of the glazing within the reveals of the masonry will result in a much greater impact externally, detracting from the legibility of a lightweight modern addition to the historically open arches.”
Another issue – and one commented on by Historic England, although that body is not an objector – is the impact on the listed cab rank, which officers feel will be affected greatly by the retail pods.
Refusal is recommended. The plans can be viewed on York’s planning portal at 23/01640/LBC.