IT’S one of the biggest and most crucial developments in York’s recent history – and now the people of the city are getting their chance to shape its future.
A public consultation process has begun on a revised blueprint for how the site of the former Terry’s chocolate factory could be transformed, with residents now having five weeks to make their
City of York Council’s city development team has finalised a fresh development brief for the Bishopthorpe Road site following the controversial and costly demise of a scheme which saw developers
Grantside’s bid to revamp the factory ditched last year.
The firm, which splashed out £26 million to buy the former home of the chocolate manufacturer in August 2006, had planned to replace it with scores of new homes – including a swathe of affordable
housing – a luxury hotel and space for offices and workshops in a move which would have created up to 2,800 jobs.
But in a stunning turn of events, the council’s planning committee unanimously rejected the scheme last August – despite officers having recommended its approval – which led to furious Grantside
bosses criticising the authority, after saying they had followed the planning brief they were asked to adhere to.
The company has since said it is still looking to regenerate the Terry’s site and the new proposals drawn up by planning chiefs are now receiving a public airing.
Residents living near the former factory and local stakeholder organisations have until February 22 to air their views, after which a final decision on how the development can move forward will be
Potential uses for the site included in the revised brief include a “high-quality” hotel, conference and leisure facilities, housing and live/work units, while the document also calls for any
development to benefit local people and have a “communal” feel by encompassing shops, restaurants and other community, health and recreational aspects.
Leaflets summarising the possible changes are being distributed to local residents and council officers will also attend Micklegate, Bishopthorpe and Wheldrake, Dringhouses and Woodthorpe and
Fishergate ward committee meetings to provide more information about the blueprint.
Copies of the brief are also available at the council offices in St Leonard’s Place and the Guildhall, the Central, Bishopthorpe and Dringhouses Libraries, St Chad’s Church in Campleshon Road,
South Bank Social Club in Ovington Terrace, St Clement’s Working Men’s Club and The Winning Post pub on Bishopthorpe Road.
“Once revised, the brief will be presented to the council’s planning committee in March or April,” said a council spokeswoman. “If approved, the brief will then be used to guide future development
on the site.”