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Archive - Monday, 4 October 2004
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York club could move into B&B
PLANS for a York social club to move to a smaller, neighbouring home look set to pave the way for the sale of another city working men's club.
Lawrence Street WMC says its existing Grade II-listed base at 29-31 Lawrence Street is "too large" for its current membership.
A report to City of York Council says any switch to a smaller home looks likely to trigger another sale to developers, eager to snap up prime city centre land to convert into flats.
News of the planning application comes after the Evening Press revealed how clubs across York were being targeted by property developers as they struggled to survive in the 21st century.
Four city clubs closed in just over a year - Fulford Road WMC, the INL, Layerthorpe WMC and the York City Arms, as the scene generally declined amid a severe lack of younger members and smaller profit margins.
Now, in a move aimed at bucking the trend of closures, Lawrence Street plans have been submitted to convert an existing bed-and-breakfast site into a new WMC with a two-storey extension at the back.
The aim is to create a new club base as well as a two-bedroom flat on the second floor of the existing guest house and a two bedroom flat on the first floor of the rear extension.
Rachel Tyas, development control officer at City of York Council, states in a report to planning committee members that should councillors give the proposal the green light "it is anticipated that an application for residential redevelopment of 29-31 Lawrence Street would be forthcoming."
Planning officers have recommended the change of use application is accepted by members.
However, environmental officers point to two first- floor bedrooms being sited above a bar and bottle store, "where noisy activities are likely to be taking place until late at night".
They also raise concerns about two other bedrooms above a club social room, which could be used for parties and disturb sleep.
Traffic considerations in busy Lawrence Street and air quality levels should both be taken into account, the report states.
The proposal will be discussed at a meeting of the planning and transport city centre area sub-committee on Thursday.
Updated: 10:22 Monday, October 04, 2004