Spark:York to stay till 2022 as planners praise its ‘positive impact’

Spark:York. Photograph: YorkMix

Spark:York has been given the go ahead by planning bosses to stay in the city centre until the end of March 2022.

The venue’s lease was already extended by councillors in February – but had to clear another hurdle by gaining planning permission to stay.

Its application has been approved – despite a planning report saying there were five objection letters lodged.

These raised concerns about noise, the appearance of the venue and the original plan for the site to close this year.

But planning officers said Spark has a positive impact on the city centre.

The report says: “In terms of local distinctiveness and the city centre economy, the Spark development does have a positive impact; it provides a platform for emerging business and facilitates community uses.

“An updated set of conditions are recommended; a combination of restrictions preventing amplified live performance and controlling noise output from amplified music and management measures to control customers by allowing only smaller (seated groups) in more sensitive areas closer to neighbours.”

Heated market

Photograph: Spark:York on Facebook

Spark:York’s owners have thanked everyone for their support after it came out of lockdown.

On Facebook they said: “Big thanks for all the love shown throughout August, and what else we could salvage of summer.

“As we move into autumn, we’re looking to the return of our cover in a few weeks and our transformation into a heated and covered market.

“Extra heaters are going up, new event formats are being planned and we’ll get ready to face A/W 2020.”

Meanwhile, the council intends to develop the site in the future – with shops and office space – as part of its Castle Gateway project.

The report says Historic England have concerns about the future of the site: “The most critical issue for Historic England is the unresolved question of the long-term future of the site.

“It is therefore a concern that there is no supporting information submitted with this application to explain what efforts have been made to find a permanent use for the site.”