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Fresh support call for huge Hungate plans
YORK’S civic bosses should continue to back the massive Hungate development, despite the uncertainty surrounding the project, a council official has said.
Janine Riley, conservation architect at City of York Council, has said the authority should agree to developers’ request for an extension in their planning permission.
As revealed in The Press last month, Hungate (York) Regeneration Ltd says it can no longer afford to meet the affordable housing demands agreed when it received planning permission in 2006.
It is seeking an extension to its permission, and has warned work may never resume unless it can renegotiate its agreed £6.6 million contributions towards archaeology, cycling, a car club, CCTV, education and open space.
Ms Riley, responding to the latest application, has called on planning officers to agree to the firm’s request for an extension.
She said: “In view of the current recession and the difficulty of obtaining development finance, it seems logical to abide by central Government advice, which allow for extensions of time for residential schemes.”
She said that “in the absence of any viable alternative proposal for the site”, there was no architectural or design reason to block the firm’s request.
The local Guildhall planning panel and English Heritage have both said they have no objections to the time extension.
The original Hungate plan was for 720 homes, a landmark office building, shops, bars, a “focal building” for the community, a bridge over the Foss and a riverside piazza.
The total site covers 4.1 hectares, but although work on the first 162 homes finished in 2009, the subsequent five phases of work have yet to begin.