D McTernan (Soap Box Jun 13th) is wrong to suggest the Hiscox building (next to the Black Swan) will be much the same as the rejected design for council offices on the site. While I did object to the waste of demolishing the former Peasholme Hostel, the outcome today has benefitted York and its people: A modern homeless hostel at Fishergate, an innovative sustainable conversion at the council’s West Offices, retaining an important part of our railway heritage and a vastly better design to sit next to the Black Swan. In contrast with the solid block of the abandoned council design, the Hiscox building is far more sympathetic and got unanimous support from the planning committee, including myself. The façade facing the historic pub will feature a large curving glass frontage opening out a public concourse between the two buildings. This could become a new public space for office workers, local residents and visitors to York, on a par with Kings Square, but funded mostly by private development. It will also provide an attractive walking and cycling route linking the Walmgate area via the new bridge over the Foss to Hungate and the Aldwark area.
Cllr Andy D’Agorne