A 200-year-old York business has been given the green-light to expand its Osbaldwick headquarters after a vote by councillors.

Building services engineering firm JH Shouksmith sought permission to replace existing office, warehouse and storage buildings that are prefabricated and more than 50 years old.

A three-story office building will be accessed via Murton Lane, while a pair of two-storey light industrial buildings will have a separate access from Outgang Lane to the north.

David Shouksmith is the seventh generation of the family to run the business, which was founded in the city in 1820.

He told councillors: “Our current office is a timber frame building which was regarded as a temporary structure when it was originally constructed. The office has served the business well for over 50 years, however it is starting to become extremely dated and is coming to the end of its lifespan.

“The office and the industrial unit behind it are not environmentally friendly and has a very poor energy efficiency rating. In this current climate, we cannot afford to continue to operate buildings such as this.

“The time has come and we are in a position to be able to redevelop the front of Osbaldwick industrial estate, to replace our offices and allow the business to progress.”

The company has over 70 staff based in York and Leeds. It had an annual turnover of around £12 million in 2021 and this is forecast to increase to £17 million in the next few years, meaning the company needs more staff.

Ward councillor Mark Warters said the three-storey building was “too tall and out of character” with the area, concerns echoed by Osbaldwick Parish Council.

Several councillors also raised concerns about the amount of traffic parked on the highway in Outgang Lane, but the committee was told this was being caused by other firms on the estate and was not a matter they could take into consideration when making their decision.

There will be 40 car parking spaces and 22 bicycle parking spaces provided at the new office, with 26 car parking spaces and 20 cycle spaces provided for the industrial units.

York has a recognised shortage of industrial units and some of the new office space will be rented out to start-ups or companies wanting to expand.

Osbaldwick and Murton councillor Martin Rowley said he supported the development bid, but said he was “saddened at the height”.

He added: “I think that the applicant has done everything you would expect and more to try to alleviate the parking issues that are currently happening – it’s none of their making at all.”

Cllr Stephen Fenton added: “I think the applicant said in designing this building, they wanted to make a statement and I think it does – I personally find it visually attractive.”

Councillors Nigel Ayre and Andy D’Agorne abstained because they said there was not enough evidence in the officers’ report to show that a policy in the emerging Local Plan was taken into consideration.