One of York’s biggest hotels wants to build a new wing – with 45 extra bedrooms.

The Principal has submitted a planning application for an extension, which would be built near the now disused Leeman Road access road and next to the hotel’s conference centre and garden wing.

A report says the new wing would be for business guests attending conferences at the hotel. And this will free up the main hotel building to be “repositioned as a leading luxury lifestyle destination”.


The hotel currently has 157 bedrooms.

A planning statement says the new building will feature its own reception area so people attending conferences will not have to go through the main hotel building. And the number of parking spaces at the hotel will be reduced from 60 to 32 to make way for the new wing.

Three disabled parking bays will be added.

Conference business

The Principal Hotel. Photographs: Richard McDougall
The gardens that had been used for car parking will also be restored under the plans.

A report says:

  • The main motivation for the bedroom extension is to meet extra demand on the conference business without detracting from Principal York Hotel’s new lifestyle focus.

    The new building is orientated to maximise views over the ornate gardens, and towards the historic city walls.

    The building’s footprint turns away from Leeman Road to reduce visual impact from the street.

This shows the location of the planned extension

Planning permission was previously granted for an extension in 2016 but lapsed.

But IHG took over the site after the hotel was sold in 2018 and a letter from the company says: “Having owned the portfolio for some nine months now, IHG have agreed that the extension to the Principal York is a fantastic opportunity to increase the potential of the hotel, especially with the proposed works in and around the station.”

The hotel first opened as The Royal York in 1878.