A developer behind a new apartment block for York originally proposed to make it car-free – but the council insisted on parking places.
Tiger Developments wants to build a five-storey building with 62 flats on Eboracum Way opposite the Travelodge hotel.
Seb Horst of Tiger Developments said they had initially suggested a car-free development “in a sustainable location”.
“We heard back from City of York Council saying we needed to provide as much parking as we could,” he told the Built Environment Networking event last week.
So they created a car park in the basement – only to be told by the council that there were still not enough spaces.
The decision comes after the Liberal Democrat-Green Party run council declared a climate emergency and floated the idea of a car-free city centre.
A decision on the apartment block will be taken at a planning committee tomorrow (Tuesday, 11 February).
Under the plans 62 one, two and three-bed apartments would be built and 19 per cent of the flats will be affordable homes.
The car park will provide 28 spaces – and bicycle parking for each apartment.
The council’s assistant director for planning and public protection Mike Slater said:
The current application provided 22 parking spaces for 65 apartments, revised to 28 after we highlighted concerns that not providing parking spaces would simply displace parking, congestion and air quality impact to surrounding streets.
We are very open to discussions with any developer who wants to create car-free conditions. This means more than simply reducing parking spaces.
It has to be combined with other features like lockable bike storage, sustainable transport infrastructure and good access to public transport links.
Tiger Developments says the development aims to “create a high quality contemporary landmark building which acknowledges its location at a key junction of the city road network and provides high quality three, two and one bed dwellings appropriate to its context whilst enhancing the character and appearance of the area”.
The application says:
The current proposal will create a cohesive and sustainable development for a vacant brownfield site.
The proposal will provide a significant contribution to the council’s local housing supply and provide a policy compliant level of affordable housing.
The proposed scheme will provide a high quality of architecture and residential accommodation on a key junction site.
The land is currently disused and next to the former Heworth gas works site, already earmarked for a 700-home development.
Additional reporting: Chloe Laversuch, local democracy reporter