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Flats plan approved for former White Swan Hotel building
THE way has finally been cleared for a former landmark hotel in the centre of York to be redeveloped.
Councillors have approved proposals for 18 flats on the upper floors of the White Swan Hotel, on the corner of Piccadilly and Coppergate, and a Sainsbury’s store is set to open at street level.
The plans were backed by City of York Council’s area planning sub-committee this week.
The work on the 100-year-old building could be the first of a string of schemes to turn empty space above city-centre shops into flats or offices following a study by the North of England Civic Trust (NECT), funded by the Labour-run authority.
The council has been awarded £450,000 towards converting the upper floors – unused for more than 30 years – into housing, after talks with the former hotel’s owners, the Graham Family Trust and the Fabrick Group, which runs affordable housing provider Tees Valley Housing Association.
A deal is expected to ensure all the flats are made available as affordable homes for at least 15 years.
Sainsbury’s, which is also opening a new store in Micklegate, confirmed in July it wants to move into new units which will be created on the ground floor of the White Swan site.
The planning approval means these units can include shops, a restaurant, a bar or a mix of these uses, but planners said there should be a strong retail element to any development.
NECT’s study found 36 per cent of upper floors at York’s city-centre premises were unused and could become flats capable of housing between 1,000 and 1,500 people, or hundreds of small offices.
Council leader James Alexander said: “Since being elected to lead the council, Labour has put a lot of effort into getting disused properties such as the White Swan, Terry’s and the Bonding Warehouse back into use.
“Renewed interest in York’s brownfield sites, planning permissions being granted and building work starting, all speak for themselves. York is open for business.”
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