These pictures show how far a York pub has deteriorated after years of waiting to be reopened.
This is how The Magnet on Osbaldwick Lane looks now, nearly three years after its then owners Enteprise Inns closed it in April 2018.
A third attempt is now being made to demolish the pub and build houses in its place.
Twice before, developers Moorside have applied to replace the Magnet with housing.
Following objections by York Civic Trust, Osbaldwick Parish Council and others, the applications were both withdrawn.
The pub was back up for sale last January.
But Moorside are trying again, with a new application to demolish all buildings on the site and build eight terraced houses.
Extensive refurb required
An expert assessment of the building the York Archaeological Trust says the building is structurally sound. But the trust adds: “The present poor condition of the building is such that extensive renovation and refurbishment would be required for it to be habitable and operational as a public house.”
It notes smashed windows, mouldy carpets, and peeling wallpaper. “It should be noted that despite the best efforts of the current owner to secure the building, the building has deteriorated due to vandalism.”
The trust report says: “The Magnet public house is not a scheduled listed building, though it is considered by Camra (the Campaign for Real Ale) to be the best example in York of an inter-war ‘Improved’ pub, and it is listed as a heritage asset in the York Historic Characterisation Project.
“John Oxley, the City of York Archaeologist, has stated that this building should be considered a non-designated heritage asset of local significance.”
Covid ‘exacerbates downturn’
However, developers have repeated their claim that it is not viable as a pub.
“The reality is that the day of the corner beer pub is no longer,” they write, adding that “the professionals have ascertained this site has no future as a public house”.
Elsewhere documents state: “The downturn in the hospitality industry brought about by the current Covid-19 pandemic will only exacerbate the current lack of interest in reusing the property as a public house or community facility.”
You can read more about the application here.
The Magnet – timeline
April 2018 – then owners Enterprise Inns close the Magnet after the retirement of the landlord who had run it for 36 years
September 2018 – YorkMix reports concerns that it will be torn down after demolition specialists seen at the venue
January 2019 – Moorside Developments applies to knock down the pub in order to build nine terraced houses on the site
February 2019 – York Civic Trust and Osbaldwick Parish Council join many others in campaigning to save the Magnet
February 2019 – the application is withdrawn
June 2019 – a new application to demolish the pub and replace it with eight houses is lodged with City of York Council
December 2019 – the pub is back up for sale
February 2021 – a new application to demolish the pub and replace it with eight houses is submitted by Moorside