DESIGNS for a dramatic new office building in York - inspired by aviation and with an undulating grass-covered roof - have been scrapped in favour of a “simpler” scheme.

A planning application has been submitted for a new office block to be built on land off Wigginton Road at Whitehall Grange near Clifton Moor.

An original scheme, which planning documents say was “reminiscent of trees” and “appropriate to the semi-rural setting”, was given outline planning approval in 2017.

A report says the 10.1 hectare site was formerly a Second World War airfield and adds: “The composition of the façade’s two wing arrangement with alternating canopies supporting an undulating roof figuratively references the theme of aviation which is adopted as a concept throughout the site.

“Following this narrative, the roof of the development is intended to be a sedum green roof to continue the prevalence of greenery on the site.”

But under a fresh planning application, submitted by Autohorn Fleet Services, the design of the building has been changed. A statement says there were concerns over the “buildability” of the scheme and whether the space inside could be used practically.

It adds: “The semicircular section of the outline approval creates an unsatisfactory office space in which areas close to external walls are compromised in ceiling height, while the centre has an overly high ceiling.

“Due to concerns over buildability, as well as the functionality of the internal spaces in terms of good institutional practice, the main building design has been refined into a simpler, primarily brick-based, architecture that responds to the massing of the wider context.”

The height of the building has also been reduced under the new plans.

The site is located in the Green Belt, but a report says the proposals were granted outline planning permission because Autohorn is a growing business with its main clients being car dealerships in Clifton Moor, and if permission was not granted they may have moved to a site in Leeds, Selby or Hull.

It adds that Autohorn’s offices are currently on part on the York Central site and that “the council’s aspirations for the site cannot be realised unless and until the existing occupiers have been relocated”.

It says: “The economic case is that consent would support the growth of the city’s high value jobs base, it would protect 85 jobs in the city, lead to an additional 75 jobs in the local authority area and contribute over £2 million to the city’s economy.”

The application says if the development goes ahead, the company hopes to move into the new building by the end of 2020.