PLANNERS have backed a major redevelopment of the former Terry’s factory building after being shocked by its deteriorating condition during a site visit.

City of York Council’s planning committee last night conditionally approved a scheme by Henry Boot Developments and P J Livesey to create 173 apartments in the Grade 11 listed building off Bishopthorpe Road.

A report by development management officer, Erik Matthews, said the ex- chocolate factory was in some “structural disrepair” after water had got into the internal fabric.

He said demolition works on the roof top had taken place at an early stage following the factory’s closure in the early 2000s. “This demolition has seriously compromised the structural integrity of the building, notably the roof,” he said.

Cllr Peter Dew, who visited the site earlier this week with other councillors, said: “I was shocked to see the state of the building. It’s an important part of York’s history.”

Cllr Andy D’Agorne also expressed concern that the factory had been allowed to get into such a shocking state. He also regretted there would not be any affordable housing in the development, which he suspected was linked to the increased cost of the refurbishment.

The committee also conditionally backed plans by Persimmon Homes for another 175 new apartments on an empty part of the Barbican site, and a further 12 on a plot of nearby land on the junction of Kent Street and Fawcett Street.

Cllr Mark Warters said the landscaping around the four and five storey block was vital and he was unhappy that details of the landscaping proposals were not available to the committee.

He called for the application to be deferred for a month until the proposals could be considered again by councillors but this was defeated after Cllr John Galvin said he was happy to leave it in the hands of professional officers.

He said the scheme would improve a ‘pretty unlovely’ site which had remained empty and derelict for quite some time.

The application involved 106 car parking spaces on the site with other parking spaces to be leased from the Q-Park opposite to create a total of 155 spaces.

But Cllr D’Agorne raised concerns about some residents parking in local residential streets, which were already under pressure from commuter parking, and he successfully pressed for two spaces to be dedicated for a car club