DEVELOPERS behind a £185 million scheme to redevelop the former Terry’s factory are launching a major consultation exercise to find out what local people want.

Bosses at Grantside today revealed they are organising a workshop at a local school so that the local community and also stakeholders from across York can put forward their views.

The news comes three months after the shock decision by City of York Council’s planning committee to turn down proposals to breathe new life into the former chocolate factory in Bishopthorpe Road, despite officers’ recommendations for approval.

Grantside, which bought the Terry’s site in August 2006 for £26 million, had wanted to create scores of new homes, many of them affordable, a luxury hotel, office and workshop space, creating up to 2,800 jobs.

The company says in a leaflet being distributed to local residents that the workshop will be held on Saturday, November 29 at Knavesmire Primary School.

Local councillors, and representatives of residents’ associations, schools and churches, and also council officers and organisations such as York Civic Trust, are being invited.

The leaflet says that both Grantside and the council want to see the regeneration of the site, adding: “It is recognised that the Chocolate Works is a very important and high-profile site which could bring benefits to local communities and to the city as a whole by providing sustainable employment, shops, leisure and community facilities, new homes, affordable housing and high quality public spaces.

“To achieve these objectives, the landowners are working closely with City of York Council to re-visit the whole approach to the design and redevelopment.

“As an initial step in this process, a fresh look is being taken at how the site might best be brought back into active use, how it might relate and connect to adjacent districts, and how the Chocolate Works can once again become an integrated and vibrant piece of the fabric of York.”

The leaflet says that Grantside wants to focus not only on the site itself, but also on surrounding places, streets and open spaces. It states: “In this way, we hope to understand more fully how the site can integrate with the city and provide a real enhancement to the local area.”