The developers behind the ambitious Coney Street/ Riverside proposals in York are planning to create upstairs flats in a busy shopping street.

The proposals to create six flats concern the site above Card Factory at 24-25 High Ousegate.

The Helmsley Group says the card retailer is coming to the end of its lease and it is already talking to other potential tenants abut the ground floor.

 The building Helmsley plans to convert can be dated to the 19th century, as an original example of a purpose-built commercial property on the ground floor and residential space on the upper floors.


The application proposes to preserve 24-25 High Ousegate to allow the historically sensitive reinstatement of residential use to the upper floors of the building, currently used only for retail storage.

Access to the apartments will be from a new staircase created at 9 Coppergate. This later 20th Century addition is currently used as a rear secondary exit by Card Factory with prominent retail frontage located on nearby High Ousegate

Not only will the staircase create a dedicated access route, it will also create a south-facing courtyard on the existing flat roof area.

Homage to the building’s heritage is also proposed with ‘ghost sign’ artwork on the existing brick gable, referencing the longest standing former occupant of neighbouring 22-24 High Ousegate, chemist and druggist ‘Brown and Co’.

This latest application follows recently submitted plans by Helmsley Group for the residential conversion of three holiday lets on York’s Spurriergate into permanent homes.

York Press: The site in High Ousegate

The developer says it is part of a strategy to create homes in the city by converting existing buildings.

In addition to Coney Street Riverside, the Monks Cross-based business has schemes planned on King’s Square and Goodramgate.

Tom Riddolls, development surveyor at Helmsley Group, said: “There is so much potential at city centre locations such as this to bring much needed and unused space back to life, returning the property to its originally intended use for the first time in more than a century.

“Our plans will preserve the history of the building while sensitively enhancing the street scene along Coppergate for the benefit of visitors and residents alike.”

Max Reeves, director at Helmsley Group, added: “Helmsley Group has a strong track record of residential development in York, including the recent conversion of The Old Fire Station and numerous other city centre residential schemes, unlocking numerous benefits for the city and local economy.

“We are acutely aware of York’s historical significance and keen to restore the property to its original mixture of commercial and residential use, preserving the building and surrounding area to be enjoyed by future generations.”

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