I SEE William Dixon Smith has hired the Friends Meeting House on Thursday evening to hold a meeting to discuss the future of the White Swan Hotel.

Regrettably, I will be unable to attend but I would like to offer the following comments. First of all, there is at present nothing proposed for The White Swan on which to comment. No planning application either to knock the building down or to restore it to beneficial use has yet been submitted.

Secondly, the building is situated in the central historic core conservation area and there is therefore a general presumption in favour of retaining it.

Next, although it is not on the statutory list of buildings of architectural or historic interest, it has been nominated for inclusion on the list of buildings of local interest and importance.

The reason for this is that there is a strong possibility that incorporated into the early 20th century fabric of the White Swan are parts of the adjacent medieval timber-framed range which includes Duttons for Buttons, and also the staircase of an 18th century building on the same site.

The owners of The White Swan have been asked to commission an historic building assessment to discover whether they do survive or not: and they have been informed of the local interest and concern about the fate of the building.

The results of the historical assessment will be used to inform proposals for the future of the building. The most appropriate time to make comments or to register objections will be during the statutory consultation period on the application when we know just what is being proposed.

Alison Sinclair, Norfolk Street, York.