Revamp for 'carbuncle' office block moves closer

York Press: Hilary House, which could be turned into apartments and a medical centre. Hilary House, which could be turned into apartments and a medical centre.

PLANS for a 1960s office block in the centre of York to be given a facelift so it can be turned into apartments could be approved next week - with opponents saying it should be bulldozed instead.

St Catherine's Developments already has permission to change the use of Hilary House, on St Saviour's Place, into 12 flats with a medical centre on the ground floor, although it dropped proposals to add an extra floor to the building earlier this year.

The company now wants to carry out external alterations to the five-storey block and City of York Council planners have said this should be allowed, ahead of a meeting of the authority's area planning sub-committee next Thursday. The application has drawn 14 objections and has been called in for debate by Guildhall councillor Brian Watson, who said the potential for the scheme to "impact on the conservation area and views of York Minster" needed to be publicly discussed.

The Guildhall planning panel, which has previously described Hilary House as "a carbuncle" and said the best thing to do would be to "raze it to the ground", claims the changes would mean the building being even more out of character with its neighbours than it is now, and the new flats and medical centre will increase traffic. Other objectors said altering the appearance of the block will not improve its appearance and it should be demolished.

In a report on the scheme, the council's development management officer Jonathan Kenyon said: "In order for the scheme to be unacceptable, it would need to be determined that the proposals are harmful to the character and appearance of the conservation area." He said the plans would not harm the building's setting.

The developers have said the revamp will be "sensitive" and improve the appearance of Hilary House. The authority's conservation architect Janine Riley had raised concerns about light pollution because of the design of new windows and the removal of entrance steps to the building, but Mr Kenyon's report said the windows would now be the same size as before and the steps will be retained.

Comments (6)

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9:06am Thu 3 Apr 14

AnotherPointofView says...

You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.... It's ugly now and it will always be ugly.

Do the decent thing and demolish this eyesore.
You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.... It's ugly now and it will always be ugly. Do the decent thing and demolish this eyesore. AnotherPointofView
  • Score: 17

9:35am Thu 3 Apr 14

old_geezer says...

AnotherPointofView wrote:
You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.... It's ugly now and it will always be ugly.

Do the decent thing and demolish this eyesore.
I agree, but money talks louder than citizens so we're wasting our breath
[quote][p][bold]AnotherPointofView[/bold] wrote: You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.... It's ugly now and it will always be ugly. Do the decent thing and demolish this eyesore.[/p][/quote]I agree, but money talks louder than citizens so we're wasting our breath old_geezer
  • Score: 7

9:52am Thu 3 Apr 14

Ignatius Lumpopo says...

If they're going to keep it, they should cover it in flat mirror glass - so it reflects all the more attractive things around it.
If they're going to keep it, they should cover it in flat mirror glass - so it reflects all the more attractive things around it. Ignatius Lumpopo
  • Score: 14

10:40am Thu 3 Apr 14

The Great Buda says...

old_geezer wrote:
AnotherPointofView wrote:
You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.... It's ugly now and it will always be ugly.

Do the decent thing and demolish this eyesore.
I agree, but money talks louder than citizens so we're wasting our breath
The only people who have the right to pull it down are the owners. Not the Council, and not us.

I suspect if they don't get their way, the developers will be happy not spending a penny on this eye-sore, and York will be stuck with it.
[quote][p][bold]old_geezer[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]AnotherPointofView[/bold] wrote: You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.... It's ugly now and it will always be ugly. Do the decent thing and demolish this eyesore.[/p][/quote]I agree, but money talks louder than citizens so we're wasting our breath[/p][/quote]The only people who have the right to pull it down are the owners. Not the Council, and not us. I suspect if they don't get their way, the developers will be happy not spending a penny on this eye-sore, and York will be stuck with it. The Great Buda
  • Score: 8

1:01pm Thu 3 Apr 14

york_chap says...

Shame it can't be demolished and replaced with a traditional-style row of 3 or 4 bed townhouses, each with a small garden. Probably wouldn't be a good enough yield for the developer, but would be more in-keeping with the area. I assume they'll be building more flats on the car park at the back too?
Shame it can't be demolished and replaced with a traditional-style row of 3 or 4 bed townhouses, each with a small garden. Probably wouldn't be a good enough yield for the developer, but would be more in-keeping with the area. I assume they'll be building more flats on the car park at the back too? york_chap
  • Score: -1

1:05pm Thu 3 Apr 14

Pinza-C55 says...

If the revamp is going to be so attractive why haven't they published an artist's impression of it?
If the revamp is going to be so attractive why haven't they published an artist's impression of it? Pinza-C55
  • Score: 11

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