A REDEVELOPMENT plan that could see new high-quality office space built in York city centre is due before planners this week.

Palace Capital have drawn up plans to demolish the underused 1960s office block Hudson House, on Toft Green, and replace it with four buildings housing 4,252 sq m of new office space as well as 127 flats and a 475 sq m commercial unit - possibly a restaurant.

Planners are recommending it is approved at a meeting on Thursday. The scheme has the support of City of York Council’s forward planning department, which says the undersupply of grade A office accommodation is acting as a constraint on inward investment, but its impact on the area’s heritage has led to some concerns.

City council design and landscape officers say the loss of 1960s railway architecture like Hudson House, rare in York, would be regrettable, and Historic England has also said it was unhappy with the initial plans. The body said Hudson House was an “undesignated heritage asset”, and voiced fears about how close the new buildings would sit to the Bar Walls.

However, revised plans have since been submitted at a report prepared for the planning committee shows the council’s own officials think the new, less prominent, buildings would in fact “enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area.”

When the plans were first revealed in January, Palace Capital’s chief executive Neil Sinclair said they represented a major investment in York and “a vote of confidence for the city.”

He said: “There is a distinct lack of top quality office space in the city centre, and we understand that there is an underlying demand from companies wishing to relocate to York but who can’t find suitable office space.”

If they go ahead, the new buildings will be the first speculative office development in York for many years.

Make it York and the Principal Hotel Group - who run the former Station Hotel - have also backed the plan to bring more office space, and to improve connectivity around the station and Micklegate.