Group opposes Hilary House penthouse idea

Hilary House, in St Saviour’s Place, York

Hilary House, in St Saviour’s Place, York

First published in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by , mark.stead@thepress.co.uk

A PLANNING group has renewed its opposition to the prospect of an empty office block in the centre of York being made taller after detailed plans for a penthouse to be added were unveiled.

Developers want to turn the upper floors of Hilary House, in St Saviour’s Place, into 13 apartments and have secured permission to change the use of the existing 1960s building so it can become homes.

Plans to create a medical centre on its ground floor have also been given the go-ahead by City of York Council.

Two more applications for the site – which has been empty since it was vacated by HM Revenue and Customs two years ago – have now been submitted to City of York Council by St Catherine’s Development Ltd.

They cover the addition of a sixth storey to accommodate a penthouse apartment and “sensitive” changes to the building’s appearance, including new windows on all floors.

The Guildhall planning panel has lodged a formal objection against the proposals, having described the building – designed by architect John Poulson and opened in 1964 – as “a carbuncle” and “a monstrosity” and saying the best thing to do with it would be to “raze it to the ground”.

The panel’s clerk, Chris Edghill, said the building was already out of scale with the rest of the area and making it bigger would “cause further damage to the environment”, against planning policy.

“The proposed development will harm the residential nature of the area, with considerable extra traffic from both the medical practice and the residences,” he said.

He said the council would not be showing consistency if it approved the loss of city-centre office space, after its economic development unit recently opposed plans for a hotel on George Hudson Street for the same reason.

PDP, the developers’ agents said the penthouse would have “very little impact when viewed locally or city-wide” and the building’s revamp would soften its appearance.

The firm said: “The aim is to produce a building which is more contemporary and can stand exposure by virtue of its quality, and is less obviously an outdated office block of the 1960s.”

Comments (11)

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10:14am Thu 16 Jan 14

Pedro says...

Once again you make the mistake of describing Poulson as an architect. He never passed any exams on the subject. He took them and failed.
Once again you make the mistake of describing Poulson as an architect. He never passed any exams on the subject. He took them and failed. Pedro
  • Score: 4

10:39am Thu 16 Jan 14

Ignatius Lumpopo says...

I don't think it should be made taller. I think it should be made uglier - oh. Wait. No. It can't be made uglier. Better make it taller then...
I don't think it should be made taller. I think it should be made uglier - oh. Wait. No. It can't be made uglier. Better make it taller then... Ignatius Lumpopo
  • Score: 7

11:40am Thu 16 Jan 14

Waspish1 says...

I always wondered how many local government official's palms had to be greased by Poulson to enable this totally inappropiate monstrosity to be built in the first place. This building is totally out of proportion to its surroundings and should be put out of its current misery. as for re-cladding, well as the saying goes ' you can't polish a turd'.
I always wondered how many local government official's palms had to be greased by Poulson to enable this totally inappropiate monstrosity to be built in the first place. This building is totally out of proportion to its surroundings and should be put out of its current misery. as for re-cladding, well as the saying goes ' you can't polish a turd'. Waspish1
  • Score: 11

12:11pm Thu 16 Jan 14

Fabius the Delayer says...

“A carbuncle” and “a monstrosity” ??
Raze it to the ground and knock down Stonebow House, Then realise theres no cash to redevelop and move on...
They could then put up some blue hoardings and leave them an undeveloped bombsight for years and years just like those on Hungate and Dundas Street.
I want more News of the Newts.
“A carbuncle” and “a monstrosity” ?? Raze it to the ground and knock down Stonebow House, Then realise theres no cash to redevelop and move on... They could then put up some blue hoardings and leave them an undeveloped bombsight for years and years just like those on Hungate and Dundas Street. I want more News of the Newts. Fabius the Delayer
  • Score: 8

12:57pm Thu 16 Jan 14

Brythonicman says...

Pull it down and build some appropriate dwellings that fit in with the character of the area! Oh and this time please use a qualified architect.
Pull it down and build some appropriate dwellings that fit in with the character of the area! Oh and this time please use a qualified architect. Brythonicman
  • Score: 8

2:08pm Thu 16 Jan 14

Anna Gramme says...

This is a stunning building. A superb fusion of neo-plasticism and brutalist modernism. I hope that the plans go ahead and extra carparking is provided. St Saviourgate should be widened.
This is a stunning building. A superb fusion of neo-plasticism and brutalist modernism. I hope that the plans go ahead and extra carparking is provided. St Saviourgate should be widened. Anna Gramme
  • Score: -3

2:11pm Thu 16 Jan 14

bloodaxe says...

Fabius the Delayer wrote:
“A carbuncle” and “a monstrosity” ??
Raze it to the ground and knock down Stonebow House, Then realise theres no cash to redevelop and move on...
They could then put up some blue hoardings and leave them an undeveloped bombsight for years and years just like those on Hungate and Dundas Street.
I want more News of the Newts.
On balance, leaving the site vacant would be an improvement.
[quote][p][bold]Fabius the Delayer[/bold] wrote: “A carbuncle” and “a monstrosity” ?? Raze it to the ground and knock down Stonebow House, Then realise theres no cash to redevelop and move on... They could then put up some blue hoardings and leave them an undeveloped bombsight for years and years just like those on Hungate and Dundas Street. I want more News of the Newts.[/p][/quote]On balance, leaving the site vacant would be an improvement. bloodaxe
  • Score: 8

2:31pm Thu 16 Jan 14

Rocking Horse says...

Pedro wrote:
Once again you make the mistake of describing Poulson as an architect. He never passed any exams on the subject. He took them and failed.
Sir Christopher Wren studied latin, mathematics and science at Oxford gaining a BA and MA, then was appointed professor of astronomy, and in his day the term/title of architect did not exist, so there was no formal qualification as such.

Similarly, Sir John Vanbrugh was also a playwright, with no evidence that he studied architecture.

One of the UK's current 'master builders' is Anthony (Tony) William Pidgley founder of Berkeley Group who are London's biggest residential developer and who have an unrivalled record of success. Tony Pidgley had vwery little formal education at all having been adopted by travellers (gypsies) aged four and by age 14 he was running his own haulage business which he sold to Crest Nicholson for £1m when he was 21 and he had 40 lorries plus other plant and equipment. He was Crest's groundworks subcontractor and was making more profit doing their foundations etc than they made from their housebuilding business. Berkeley now has a stockmarket value of £3.6billion.

So much for formal qualifications ?!!!
[quote][p][bold]Pedro[/bold] wrote: Once again you make the mistake of describing Poulson as an architect. He never passed any exams on the subject. He took them and failed.[/p][/quote]Sir Christopher Wren studied latin, mathematics and science at Oxford gaining a BA and MA, then was appointed professor of astronomy, and in his day the term/title of architect did not exist, so there was no formal qualification as such. Similarly, Sir John Vanbrugh was also a playwright, with no evidence that he studied architecture. One of the UK's current 'master builders' is Anthony (Tony) William Pidgley founder of Berkeley Group who are London's biggest residential developer and who have an unrivalled record of success. Tony Pidgley had vwery little formal education at all having been adopted by travellers (gypsies) aged four and by age 14 he was running his own haulage business which he sold to Crest Nicholson for £1m when he was 21 and he had 40 lorries plus other plant and equipment. He was Crest's groundworks subcontractor and was making more profit doing their foundations etc than they made from their housebuilding business. Berkeley now has a stockmarket value of £3.6billion. So much for formal qualifications ?!!! Rocking Horse
  • Score: 4

1:46am Fri 17 Jan 14

Magicman! says...

Fabius the Delayer wrote:
“A carbuncle” and “a monstrosity” ??
Raze it to the ground and knock down Stonebow House, Then realise theres no cash to redevelop and move on...
They could then put up some blue hoardings and leave them an undeveloped bombsight for years and years just like those on Hungate and Dundas Street.
I want more News of the Newts.
I think the councillor who had them and kept planting them in various places ran out of them....
[quote][p][bold]Fabius the Delayer[/bold] wrote: “A carbuncle” and “a monstrosity” ?? Raze it to the ground and knock down Stonebow House, Then realise theres no cash to redevelop and move on... They could then put up some blue hoardings and leave them an undeveloped bombsight for years and years just like those on Hungate and Dundas Street. I want more News of the Newts.[/p][/quote]I think the councillor who had them and kept planting them in various places ran out of them.... Magicman!
  • Score: 1

1:48am Fri 17 Jan 14

Magicman! says...

Hilary House is like Ryedale Building... plain boring faceless concrete block with absolutely no architectural or civil merits whatsoever. My view is these two are even more ugly than Stonebow House.... at least Stonebow House offers car parking in the city centre and 2 music venues.
Hilary House is like Ryedale Building... plain boring faceless concrete block with absolutely no architectural or civil merits whatsoever. My view is these two are even more ugly than Stonebow House.... at least Stonebow House offers car parking in the city centre and 2 music venues. Magicman!
  • Score: 2

11:02am Fri 17 Jan 14

savvy1 says...

I walked down Aldwark from St. Andrewgate this morning and looking up at the scaffolding from outside the Merchant Taylors made me realise just how much of an eyesore the building would be with an extra floor on top.
Putting all the glass they propose on the faces of the building will also make it stand out like a sore thumb in an area where that is so not the norm.
At least they are planning to put trees in front of the building, but ironically they want to use plants that "don't spoil the view". I say hide it behind a high leylandii hedge!
I walked down Aldwark from St. Andrewgate this morning and looking up at the scaffolding from outside the Merchant Taylors made me realise just how much of an eyesore the building would be with an extra floor on top. Putting all the glass they propose on the faces of the building will also make it stand out like a sore thumb in an area where that is so not the norm. At least they are planning to put trees in front of the building, but ironically they want to use plants that "don't spoil the view". I say hide it behind a high leylandii hedge! savvy1
  • Score: 2

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