While York’s planning system has its faults (‘Shame on York Council’, Letters, April 11) the planning committee last week made a fair and sound decision to allow Spark to continue operating for at least 18 months, or longer if there are delays to development of the site.

Several adjacent residents spoke in favour of the application, indeed one said the current use was far preferable to it being returned to open wasteland prematurely.

The concept of short-term use for start-up businesses has helped regenerate the area and, as the director stated, has already enabled 17 businesses to progress to more permanent premises. York has fantastic heritage, visitor attractions, market and smaller premises but also needs somewhere for new businesses to take risks and grow, with flexible start up arrangements, to offer exciting new products and services.

Spark provides for all ages and is a key part of ensuring we are much more than a tourist destination, dormitory town for Leeds and place for students to study for three years then leave.

I hope that Spark will now be able to prepare to relocate to maintain this vital role - whether that is to York Central, close to the NRM and the new station business area, or maybe even to the Barbican site, that has been left as wasteland by housebuilders Persimmon for more than 15 years?

Cllr Andy D’Agorne, Fishergate ward councillor,

Broadway West, York