Changes to the entrance portico at York train station have been rejected by the council’s planning committee and they have told LNER to come up with a better scheme.
The idea was to make internal and external alterations which would include enclosing the area of the Grade II listed building with glazing to create a new retail space.
City of York Council officers recommended it be refused. Councillors said there were concerns that what LNER planned just wasn’t right for the space which includes the distinct Station Taxi office which is also listed too.
David Horne, the MD of LNER which manages the station, said their plans would solve many problems including the pigeon issue.
“These works aren’t part of the gateway scheme. They’re being funded by LNER but they will complement the gateway scheme.
“A significant number of the public objections relate to accessible parking. These are changes made under the gateway scheme. The planned work on the portico has no impact on this.
“If the portico is left open, it is likely to attract more pigeons to roost in the open building, increasing the public nuisance and long term degradation.
“There is also the real likelihood of increasing anti-social behaviour and more rough sleeping”
He said that was a problem that took up a lot of time for his staff and the transport police.
Many members of the planning committee said that they liked some of the ideas put forward by the train operator, which is responsible for managing the station, but there were many concerns that this just wasn’t the right approach.
Disability campaigners speaking in the public meeting didn’t like the plans either, saying that the walk to alternative taxi ranks would be an issue and there wasn’t enough seating.
Committee chair, Cllr Jonny Crawshaw had this message to LNER after they voted to refuse consent. “If I could perhaps suggest that if LNER were minded to do anything further on this, it did seem to me that there is quite a lot of support in the room for the principle of an enclosed space and it’s how it’s done and how that’s taken forward.
“So I hope that people will consider thinking about some of the considerations that have been made here this evening.
“As things currently stand there is an existing planning approval for that area to be paved out with York stone and the use of it will be changed anyway.”