YOUR editorial of August 20 says the conversion of former council offices in St.Leonard’s Place will do nothing to address York’s needs for affordable homes, but James Alexander claims the developers are keen to meet affordable housing commitments.

So which statement is true?

The current policy requires 20 per cent of the dwellings to be “affordable”, so of the 44 dwellings created at least eight would have to be handed over to a registered social landlord at a price lower than the costs of creating them.

And the market value of the remaining private dwellings will be negatively impacted by the presence of affordable element.

The developers are not making this affordable contribution through choice but of out of necessity.

hey are forced into a housing scheme because the hotel idea has flopped and no one wants offices of that size or type.

What else can they do but residential occupation?

They are then forced to provide affordable housing because if they don’t agree they will not be given planning permission.

It will be a very difficult and costly business to meet all the regulations to convert these listed buildings into homes.

Matthew Laverack, Architect of this parish, Lord Mayor’s Walk, York.