A FULL planning application to replace the metal staircase at the Otley Street entrance to Craven Court Shopping Centre with a like-for-like structure has been lodged with North Yorkshire Council.

The proposal is to remove the staircase to the north-east of the site, excluding the ornate posts and roof structure, and replace the staircase metal work to match the detailing of the existing staircase.

A design and access report states the existing metalwork has corroded beyond repair and has left the current stair unsafe for the public or first floor shop proprietors to use.

The statement from Praxis Real Estate Management adds: "The staircase is located to the north east of the shopping centre and provides access to the mezzanine level shopping area that runs around the perimeter of the site. The staircase is adjacent to unit 12A a Grade II listed structure, and is connected by means of the mezzanine structure.

"The works include replacing the treads and risers, together with the landings and the ornate metal balustrading around the staircase.

"The proposed works are seen as essential in allowing access to the first floor mezzanine level shopping space, and will maintain the appearance of this elevation. The works are required due to the current condition which a structural engineer has stated is beyond repair."

The applicant adds that the staircase is one of three methods of accessing the mezzanine level of the shopping centre, as such the social impact of maintaining a staircase at that end of the shopping centre is important as this is a social meeting space that needs to be maintained.

The report adds the material with which the staircase will be constructed will be metal to match the existing, however the intention is that the metalwork will last a significant number of years, which makes it more sustainable than more modern less durable materials.

"As the staircase is an access route to a portion of the shopping centre the impact of not having the stair in use will harm the retailers to the mezzanine level," the report added.

The plans were lodged with North Yorkshire Council on November 15. Neighbours in Craven Court have been notified.