YORK residents are being urged to show their support for plans to create a new street food and social enterprise hub in the city following concerns raised over the proposals.
Northminster Ltd says it may put its plans for a £25million new hotel in York’s Piccadilly on ice over doubts that the Spark:York project for the former Reynards garage site on the other side of the road meets national planning policy guidelines for conservation areas.
The developer’s managing director George Burgess said the concept of Spark:York’s scheme to support business start-ups was laudable, but claimed it was “wholly inappropriate” in a conservation area. He also claimed the project is at odds with the local authority’s wider aspirations for the regeneration of the “Castle Gateway” to the city centre.
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Spark:York’s plans, which have been submitted to the council, involve 20 converted shipping containers, arranged over two levels, repurposed as a venue for retail, restaurant, office and performance space.
The community interest company has hit back at Northminster’s comments and is calling on residents who support its scheme to visit City of York Council’s website and share their views on its application. People only have until tomorrow to comment.
Joe Gardham, a Spark:York director, said: “It is hugely important people comment on our plans.
“We’ve had overwhelming support, from parents on the school run, to people in supermarkets, local residents and business owners.
“There’s a real buzz about our plans, and it would be a real disaster for the city if we allow those maximising their profit margins to succeed at the expense of local residents and those less fortunate.”
He added: “We think our project compliments the hotel plans. It would be a shame if they can’t exist together.”
Spark:York’s proposals also include a co-working space for more than 20 socially-minded enterprises, a community herb garden and a free meeting space for local groups.
Northminster submitted plans for a 146-bed hotel and eight apartments in Piccadilly last month.