A LANDMARK former hotel in York is to be transformed – and a new £1.3 million restaurant which will lead to 75 new jobs is also due to open in the city.
Councillors approved plans to create 14 apartments on the upper floors of the historic White Swan Hotel on the corner of Coppergate and Piccadilly.
Units on the building’s ground floor could house new shops.
The plans for the site, which has been mostly empty for the last 30 years, were put forward by the Graham Family Trust after the mock-Tudor building’s condition deteriorated.
Options to bring it back into use as a hotel, turn it into office space or demolish and rebuild it were discounted.
Councillors also approved proposals for a restaurant and bar in a 161-year-old building in Little Stonegate which was once a Methodist chapel and printworks before forming part of the Borders bookstore site.
It has since been bought by Leeds-based ARC Inspirations LLP, which hopes to start work on the Banyan restaurant – similar to the chain’s other outlets in Yorkshire, including one in Harrogate – early next year.
Opponents of the plans said the building should be retained for retail use. Karen Waugh, owner of nearby Kennedy’s Café Bar, objected to the scheme and told the planning meeting that the number of bars and eating-out businesses in the Stonegate area was “already at saturation point”.
The White Swan plans were voted through unanimously. Committee chairman Coun Brian Watson said: “This is long overdue and will hopefully breathe new life into that part of the city.”
Richard Lockey, of KPP Architects, which designed the Little Stonegate proposals, told the meeting that the listed former chapel and printworks site had been marketed for retail use since Borders closed, with no interest.
He said: “Our scheme will see £1.3 million spent on bringing a new-style café bar to York, creating 75 new jobs.
“It will follow the same standards of design and operation as other establishments in Yorkshire.”