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Walmgate car park operators apply for 'retrospective' planning permission
THE operators of a car park on the site of a former motorcycle showroom in the centre of York have asked for permission to keep it open after council chiefs said they may have broken planning rules.
Car Parking Management (CPM) Ltd opened the pay-and-display car park last month in Walmgate, on land which has been earmarked for a 102-bedroom hotel.
But City of York Council said no planning agreement had been sealed and began investigating the issue.
The firm has now applied for “retrospective” planning permission for the car park, which can accommodate about 40 vehicles on a first-come, first-served basis.
It wants to keep the car park open until Sojourn Hotels starts work on the three-storey Hotel Indigo, which is expected to be towards the end of the year.
In documents sent to the council, agents acting for CPM said a “significant” amount of money had been spent on clearing the site of vegetation and rubble left behind following the demolition of the Infinity motorcycle shop, as well as on resurfacing the land.
A statement to council planners said: “The proposal presents a very short-term opportunity to maintain pre-construction land to be later revitalised in this key part of the city.
“The site provides additional footfall for local traders, which is welcomed in this difficult trading environment, and is supported by local residents and visitors to York.
“The ongoing maintenance and patrolling of the site can only be good for York, providing a clean, safe site and security.”
The statement said that, before the car park opened, the site had become an “eyesore” and its condition would get worse if it remained empty and unused until work on the hotel begins.
It said the facility was opened and patrolled round the clock and its prices were in line with other car parks in the city.
CPM had taken a temporary lease on the site from its owners and being able to continue operating pending the planning decision.
The hotel development, which would create 40 jobs, was approved by the council in 2011 and originally expected to open last year.
But Sojourn said work was delayed by the need to alter the plans so an electricity substation could be included.
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