City of York planners are recommending councillors refuse plans for changes to the frontage of York Station, which include two retail pods.

LNER is seeking to approval for the plans it submitted in August after planning staff refused a similar scheme in April.

Both schemes include creating a new pedestrianised and glazed area with renovations to the historic station.

If approved, the scheme would form part of the wider £26m Station Gateway Scheme, which the council approved in 2021 and work on which started last month.


However, council planners fear the impact the scheme would have on the front entrance, known as a porte-cochere.

A report prepared for this Thursday’s meeting of planning committee says the station and in particular its porte cochère “are a major part of York's heritage significance.”

York Press: Artists impression of the scheme

Glazing the port cochere and the pods would add ‘clutter’ harming the effect of the grand entrance to the station, planners had earlier determined.

The council’s Conservation Officer said the revised plans were not a significant improvement and the retail pods “remain highly intrusive structures.”

Historic England had no objection to the proposal but Micklegate Planning Panel opposed the northern pod, saying it would impede the flow of pedestrians.

The Council for British Archaelogy opposed the application saying the pods would duplicate existing stores.

The CBA also said: “The proposed ‘glazing in’ and use of York’s station’s porte-cochere for a pair of retail pods would be a missed opportunity to create an impressive welcoming space at this gateway to the city that identifies York’s special interest and identity.”

Five letters of objection raised similar concerns.

York Press: Artists impression of the scheme

Assessing the application, planners agreed the retail pods remain “highly intrusive structures” and they and extra seating would “add visual clutter.”

They would radically change the feel and function of the space “as a grand and open portico designed for comfortable entry to and departure from the station.”

“It is considered that the proposal would significantly erode architectural and historical significances of the listed building and that the harm would fall at the higher end of the less than substantial category,” the report continued.

It said the principal of closing the principle of closing the porte-cochère to vehicles and also the relocation of the taxi area, short stay parking (including disabled parking) has already been granted consent as part of the Station Gateway works.

However, “York Railway Station is of high significance” with the main station buildings, including the port cochere, retaining much of their original appearance.

The glazing and pods would detract from the listed tax kiosk and “confuse an appreciation” of the porte cochere.

The retail pods would also undermine, the grand volume and open character of the wider station building.

Therefore, with the application causing more harm than benefit, it should be refused.