A HOUSING development will be built on the site of a landmark York social club which is to be torn down after 133 years.

Councillors yesterday approved proposals to demolish Burnholme Social Club and replace it with 28 houses and nine flats.

The scheme also includes a children’s play area and a replacement club after its members said the cost of repairs to the building would run into hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Opponents of the plans to knock down the Victorian Gothic-style building on Burnholme Drive said the area would lose one of its focal points and criticised the size of the development, while concerns were raised about noise and claims made that not enough public consultation was carried out when the plans were submitted.

RHW Developments Limited said the current club, built in 1880 for former Lord Mayor of York John Bellerby, would need roof repairs costing £500,000 alone and the scheme would help meet York’s housing demands, also saying a public meeting about the plans led to few objections being put forward.

John Howlett, the developers’ agent, told the council’s area planning meeting that refurbishing the building would not be viable, but its stained glass window will be preserved for use in the replacement social club.

He said: “The new club will make a more positive contribution to the local community and will be a hub for social activities.”

Burnholme resident Keith Pringle said: “The housing development is much too dense and there will be even more noise from the new club – it will disturb a lot of people.”

Planning officials told the meeting the club was not listed or in a conservation area, and placing it on a York Local List of buildings of interest would not necessarily prevent its future demolition. Committee member Coun Brian Watson said: “I feel the money could have been raised to refurbish the building and we are going to lose something which is iconic in that part of York.”

However, Coun Ian Gillies said: “To say the building is clapped out is being kind - the costs of bringing it into full working order must be prohibitive and this scheme would keep a very important community facility going.”

Coun Keith Hyman said the building was “the most unattractive in the area” and its replacement would be “much more welcoming”, with Coun Fiona Fitzpatrick saying: “It’s sad to see it go, but more important that the club is retained.”