Plan to reopen old York shop – backed by 700-signature petition – rejected by council

The shop dates back to 1909. Photograph: York Digital Image
1 Jul 2020 @ 12.39 pm
| Changing city

A York entrepreneur’s dream to reopen a shop dating back to 1909 has been dashed by planners.

Sara Winlow bought the property which used to house South Bank Stores on Balmoral Terrace last August.

We reported in January that her plan was to reopen the shop as a florist’s and coffee shop.

To do so Sara said she needed to extend the living area so there was enough room for her and her son to live in.

She applied to build a two-storey rear extension to the rear, but neighbours objected, saying the development would leave them feeling ‘hemmed in’, and detract from their outlook.

They also said it would impact on the light to their homes.

In response, Sara launched a petition asking people to support her application, which has had more than 780 signatures.

Voted against

In February, City of York Council planners deferred making a decision on the plans, to enable Sara to amend them.

She also commissioned a Daylight And Sunlight Assessment, which concluded that “the development will not result in a notable reduction in the amount of either daylight or sunlight enjoyed by the neighbouring buildings”.

However, the plans were still recommended for refusal by council officers, and members of the area planning sub-committee voted 8-2 against the development on 18 June.

Now Sara is planning to launch an appeal.

She said: “Cllr Galvin and Cllr Craghill seemed dissatisfied with the decision to disallow the opportunity for a new business and community facility on the grounds that the business ‘did not exist’.

“The whole purpose of the planning application was to get enough space to make the business possible. 

“I will be taking the decision to appeal, as the evidence proved that there was little impact on the neighbouring property.”