Eleven hundred years ago had Eric Bloodaxe sailed up the Ouse and been greeted by the Anglo-Saxon Witan offering rent free accommodation, 24/7 feasting/pillaging and no restrictions on behaviour, he would have been pleasantly surprised.
In his case he might have chosen to take those options anyway, whatever the views of the local population.
Today residents wake up to find that they may have to endure another sea born invasion, as the SPARK container “village” will carry on for another 2 years, courtesy of a compliant York Councillor who yesterday authorised an extension to the lease of land in Piccadilly.
The business will have to gain an extension to its planning permission (and operating license) but this looks like another behind closed doors “done deal”.
So far, the business has failed to implement the planning conditions imposed some 2 years ago which were intended to reduce the visual impact of the sea containers.
Quite simply the development is an ugly carbuncle blotting a neighbourhood which is long overdue for regeneration.
The containers were also sited too close to existing residential accommodation. Metal boxes are inherently noisy and, of course, lack the insulation credentials that a City, which recently declared a “climate emergency”, might expect.
We don’t know which officials, members and reporters have so far enjoyed the hospitality of Spark.
Whatever that number may be, its “trebles all round” for a business that boasts a £3 million turnover but can find no profit to share with local taxpayers who will be expected to continue to subsidise the operation.