Agenda item

York Station, Station Road, York [23/01640/LBC] (4.38 pm)

Internal and external alterations to front entry portico to include enclosing area with glazing to create pedestrianised and retail space with 2no. retail pods, repaving in Yorkshire flagstones, repairs to brickwork, re-pointing, repair rainwater goods, reinstate pigeon spikes, removal of external canopy and repair and repaint roof structure.  [Micklegate Ward]


Members considered an application for Listed Building Consent by London North Eastern Railway LTD, for internal and external alterations to front entry portico to include enclosing area with glazing to create pedestrianised and retail space with 2no. retail pods, repaving in Yorkshire flagstones, repairs to brickwork, re-pointing, repair rainwater goods, reinstate pigeon spikes, removal of external canopy and repair and repaint roof structure at York Station.


The Head of Planning and Development Services gave a presentation on the plans for the application and the Development Management Officer provided an update to the Committee that outlined four additional representations from the Victorian Society, The Conservation Area Advisory Panel, York Civic Trust and The Railway Heritage Trust.  It was confirmed that the additional information had been assessed and the planning balance and recommendation remained unchanged from the report.                                                                                                                       


Public Speakers


Flick Williams, a resident, raised concerns about the additional walking distances that would be imposed once the bus stops were moved and noted that additional seating would be needed.  She stated that the proposed commercial units would block desire lines.  She also raised concerns on the minimum width requirements for accessible doors and entrances.


Anne Norton spoke on behalf of York Disability Rights Forum.  She stated that accessibility had not been given sufficient consideration. She also raised concerns regarding walking distances, lack of seating and the width of entrances and exits.


Tim Hedley-Jones spoke in support of the application on behalf of the Railway Heritage Trust.  He stated that the trust had funds available to provide a grant to restore the brickwork and remove the canopy. He also stated that the porte-cochère was a transitional space and did not need to be open.


In response to questions from Members, he reported that the glazing at Sheffield and Newcastle was positioned in the middle of the brickwork.  He confirmed that grants of up to 40% of the capital cost of heritage works were available for up to 5 years.


David Horn, Managing Director of LNER, spoke as the applicant.  He stated that it was the intention to make improvements to the porte-cochère in time for the 150 year anniversary of the station in 2027.  He outlined the plans and noted that these were not part of the gateway scheme.


The reasons for the glazing decisions were clarified with the architect and it was reported that the retail pods, their number and size, were an integral part of the plans and the income was needed to offset costs.  The size and location of the entrances were also explained in relation to questions regarding access.                                                                                           


[5.24 – 5.28pm, there was a brief adjournment for a comfort break}


Officers responded to a number of questions from Members.  The Conservation Officer explained that he considered the application would cause significant harm to the appearance of the porte-cochère and that it was not designed to be a closed structure. Members were advised to consider the impact on both the porte-cochère and the taxi kiosk in their deliberations.  Officers also noted that the fabric of the building was not considered to be at risk.


Following debate, Cllr Ben Burton proposed the officer recommendation to refuse the application.  This was seconded by Cllr Nelson.  Following a vote, with seven Members in favour and three against, it was;


Resolved:   That the application be refused. 




                i.          York Railway Station is of high significance, derived from the aesthetic and historical values of the curve of the train shed with fine arches and cast-iron detailing as well as the structural innovation in its design.  The main station buildings (the porte-cochère, the entrance building and the two concourse wings) have retained much of their appearance and symmetrical arrangement surviving intact and mostly still in use as intended.  The significance of the porte-cochèreis derived in part from its architectural character and in part from its historical function as a semi-open threshold.  Additionally, the context of the station in relation to the city, the City Walls and Queen Street site also contributes to its significance.  The station serves as a major entrance to the city and contributes to the setting of the heritage assets including the city ramparts and walls.  The city has strong links with railway history and much of the historic railway environment around the station survives. 


               ii.          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. In addition, the significance and setting of the taxi kiosk which is listed in its own right and is, at present, the only freestanding structure within the porte-cochère will be compromised by the introduction of the two retail pods.  The proposed retail pods will reduce how the interior of the porte-cochère is experienced, undermining its grand volume, historical function and open character as well as the sense of the architectural legibility of the wider station building. 


             iii.          For these reasons, the proposal would result in less than substantial harm to the significance of the designated heritage assets, in this case the Grade II* listed railway station and the Grade II listed taxi kiosk.  In accordance with para. 202 of the NPPF, this harm should be weighed against the public benefits of the proposal.  It is considered that the Public benefits of the proposal do not outweigh the identified level of harm.  The proposal therefore would conflict with the NPPF, Section 16 (2) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and policy D5 of the City of York Draft Local Plan (2018). 


[6.11 – 6.23 pm, the meeting adjourned]

Supporting documents:


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