CITY planners are backing a £10 million expansion of the Pavers warehouse on the edge of York.

The planning committee of City of York Scheme is recommended to approve the Green Belt scheme by Northminster Business Park, or else the company may leave the city.

The proposal has won the support of business and political leaders, including York Outer MP Julian Sturdy, his Labour opponent Luke Charters, and the York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce. York Civic Trust is also supportive.

Pavers has resubmitted plans which were refused in November 2022 due to the Green Belt location- a move which sparked controversy and the company saying it may have to relocate elsewhere.


The latest scheme, however, is slightly smaller at 11,015m2, with extra documentation submitted to allay concerns over traffic, lighting and other matters.

A council report prepared for the Thursday meeting of planning committee says its economic development team supports the scheme, noting Pavers employs more than 300 staff on the site and the proposed expansion will create 130 more jobs in the city, boosting its economy by £51m.

“The proposed expansion is central to enabling the business to implement an ambitious company-wide growth plan,” it continued.

The high-use of automation on-site meant a split-site operation would be inefficient, making it more cost effective to relocate Pavers to West and South Yorkshire, where land is available and costs are cheaper.

“Economic Development believe the case for disinvestment in York is a real risk in the long term if the application cannot be supported,” the report continued.

The report by council planning staff noted opposition from Rufforth with Knapton Parish Council opposing the scheme due to its Green Belt Location. Upper Poppleton Parish Council objected, saying it would create more traffic. Three other objections had similar concerns.

However, there were five letters of support, North Minster Business Park saw the scheme as a ‘sensible extension’ which would reduce traffic levels as Pavers presently uses other sites for storage, which is uneconomic.

The Chamber of Commerce noted the job creation promised, calling Pavers a York ‘success story.’

Julian Sturdy MP also cited economic benefits of keeping Pavers in the city.

York Civic Trust noted other schemes have extended the business park into the Green Belt.

Recommending approval, city planners agreed the ‘Very Special Circumstances’ to allow the development in the Green Belt could now be shown.

They noted ‘considerable economic and environmental benefits’ from keeping a local business in York and allowing it to expand. Planners also noted no viable alternative site was available locally and splitting sites would be inefficient and uneconomic. They also warned of “a tangible risk the business could relocate outside of York if it is unable to expand.”

They further added the Secretary of State would make a financial decision due the expansion exceeding 1000m2 of floorspace.