Penthouse plan for Hilary House is withdrawn

York Press: Hilary House, in St Saviour’s Place Hilary House, in St Saviour’s Place

CONTROVERSIAL plans to add an extra floor to an empty office block in the centre of York have been shelved.

Developers hope to convert the upper floors of Hilary House, in St Saviour’s Place, into apartments.

They had also submitted a separate proposal to create a sixth storey within the 1960s office block for a penthouse property. However, they have now withdrawn that application.

St Catherine’s Developments is still looking to carry out alterations to the facade of the building, including new windows, steps and a balustrade, having been given permission to change its use so it can become 12 flats with a medical centre on the ground floor.

City of York Council’s conservation architect, Janine Riley, has said the scheme could cause light pollution in the area.

Agents acting for the developers have said the “sensitive” revamp will improve the appearance of Hilary House, which is listed by the council as one of the buildings which detract from the city’s conservation area.

They said the now-withdrawn penthouse plans would have had little impact on the skyline. Opponents included the Guildhall planning panel, which has said Hilary House is a “carbuncle” that should be demolished.

The panel said its new use would cause traffic problems and an extra floor would have caused “further damage to the environment” as the building was already out of scale with its surroundings.

In an email to planning officers, Ms Riley said two of the main problems with Hilary House were its “bulk and height” and the plans did not address either issue.

She said light from the flats would be “uncontrolled” at night as there would be no unified use of curtains or blinds by residents.

She said: “The external block of light would be uncharacteristic of the area, which is otherwise a quiet residential area with subtle street lighting and no light pollution from other residential buildings.”

She said the scheme may remove some of the building’s best details and the new facade may harm the appearance of the area more than what it would replace, while the replacement steps would have less architectural value.

“The building is already flawed and the proposed changes would have further adverse impact on the setting of important buildings in the vicinity,” she said.

It has not been confirmed whether the penthouse application might be resubmitted.

A decision on the external changes is due this month.

Comments (7)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:42am Fri 7 Feb 14

Blythespirit says...

Hilary House is a hideous eyesore that should be demolished.
Hilary House is a hideous eyesore that should be demolished. Blythespirit
  • Score: 21

11:06am Fri 7 Feb 14

Pinza-C55 says...

It should be demolished but I have to say this criticism "She said light from the flats would be “uncontrolled” at night as there would be no unified use of curtains or blinds by residents. " strikes me as absurd beyond belief.
It should be demolished but I have to say this criticism "She said light from the flats would be “uncontrolled” at night as there would be no unified use of curtains or blinds by residents. " strikes me as absurd beyond belief. Pinza-C55
  • Score: 25

1:38pm Fri 7 Feb 14

Archiebold the 1st says...

You can't polish a turd... but this building and the stonebow need something done to either re-build or re-generate. It is like walking down a street in the 70's down there. Not sure an extra floor would cause that much of a problem given the street behind it as a ideal crane location etc.

We should be encouraging this type of development, not making ridicules obstacles to prevent them... (The developer might have even added to the square development costs as a good will gesture and constructed it then to minimise disruption like the Heineken advert... just an idea...)
You can't polish a turd... but this building and the stonebow need something done to either re-build or re-generate. It is like walking down a street in the 70's down there. Not sure an extra floor would cause that much of a problem given the street behind it as a ideal crane location etc. We should be encouraging this type of development, not making ridicules obstacles to prevent them... (The developer might have even added to the square development costs as a good will gesture and constructed it then to minimise disruption like the Heineken advert... just an idea...) Archiebold the 1st
  • Score: 6

2:52pm Fri 7 Feb 14

Dave Ruddock says...

Clad it in York stone, thats a re-facing idea .
Clad it in York stone, thats a re-facing idea . Dave Ruddock
  • Score: -2

5:36pm Fri 7 Feb 14

bloodaxe says...

Demolish.
Demolish. bloodaxe
  • Score: 8

4:39am Sat 8 Feb 14

Magicman! says...

Pinza-C55 wrote:
It should be demolished but I have to say this criticism "She said light from the flats would be “uncontrolled” at night as there would be no unified use of curtains or blinds by residents. " strikes me as absurd beyond belief.
indeed... it strikes as though somebody is just trying to fill space in a list of opposing points they're trying to make.

I highly doubt any nearby residents would be calling in to the councils environmental team saying "I cannot sleep because somebody's 11-watt curly energy saving light bulb is on in one of the flats of Hillary House and they haven't drawn their curtains".

This building offers no points of merit, just like Ryedale house. Parking is no where near sufficient for office use, it's provision is still questionable for residential use, and it's design is just simply a concrete oblong. At least Stonebow House offers space for music venues, shops etc along with public parking spaces, and its frontage has odd jaunty angles to break away from the solid concrete block that is the office section. It isn't just a boring slab of bland beige mediocrity like Hillary House is.
[quote][p][bold]Pinza-C55[/bold] wrote: It should be demolished but I have to say this criticism "She said light from the flats would be “uncontrolled” at night as there would be no unified use of curtains or blinds by residents. " strikes me as absurd beyond belief.[/p][/quote]indeed... it strikes as though somebody is just trying to fill space in a list of opposing points they're trying to make. I highly doubt any nearby residents would be calling in to the councils environmental team saying "I cannot sleep because somebody's 11-watt curly energy saving light bulb is on in one of the flats of Hillary House and they haven't drawn their curtains". This building offers no points of merit, just like Ryedale house. Parking is no where near sufficient for office use, it's provision is still questionable for residential use, and it's design is just simply a concrete oblong. At least Stonebow House offers space for music venues, shops etc along with public parking spaces, and its frontage has odd jaunty angles to break away from the solid concrete block that is the office section. It isn't just a boring slab of bland beige mediocrity like Hillary House is. Magicman!
  • Score: 4

5:30pm Sat 8 Feb 14

CaroleBaines says...

Total eyesore. Thank goodness developers do not always get their way.
Total eyesore. Thank goodness developers do not always get their way. CaroleBaines
  • Score: 2

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree