Could The Crescent go too? It‘s the latest York music venue to come under threat from development

A popular city centre venue is at risk of closure if a developer’s plan to build apartments get the go-ahead, according to a campaign group.

And the scheme would also see York lose a nursery.

A planning application has been submitted to turn The Crescent Day Nursery, next door to The Crescent Community Venue, into four apartments.

The national Music Venue Trust has objected to the plans – saying they could lead to noise complaints from people who move into the apartments and this may result in the closure of The Crescent.

In a letter, the trust’s chief executive says:

  • This planning proposal would place The Crescent Community under direct threat and runs completely contrary to York’s vision for a positive and proactive night-time economy.

    This potentially negative outcome would be entirely unacceptable in planning terms given the benefits of the night time economy to the city, and the importance of local cultural and music assets of the city, local distinctiveness and placemaking.

Support and protect

‘A diverse and vibrant music scene is a real positive for the city’. Photograph: YorkMix
Micklegate councillors Jonny Crawshaw and Pete Kilbane – who have called for cultural venues to be better protected by planning law – have also objected to the scheme.

Cllr Crawshaw said: “Having a healthy, diverse and vibrant music scene is a real positive for the city. It gives people a reason to come here, and a reason to stay.

“Spaces like The Crescent Community Venue are gold dust and we must do all we can to support and protect them.”

The owners of the venue have also objected to the plans.

They said the Crescent Working Men’s Club was established more than 100 years ago, with the site being run by a family since 2015 and hosting a range of events from live music to theatre, comedy, films, workshops for young people, book fairs and charity get-togethers.

They said the venue has “not only become a significant presence in the York music scene but also added to the social life of the city” and that it enhances its profile and reputation.

York’s longest-running live music venue Fibbers is due to lose its Toft Green home after it was sold to developers.

And The Duchess disappeared when its Stonebow home was transformed into apartments and a gym.

Loss of a nursery

The Crescent Nursery is seen to the left of this picture. Photograph: YorkMix
Residents also highlighted the loss of a nursery – saying there is already a lack of childcare in the city.

One letter objecting to the application says: “I object to this planning application because York is in short need of nurseries and not more expensive flats.

“And also the neighbouring building the Crescent Community Venue is a such a vital part of York’s culture drawing in thousands of locals and visitors of all ages to the city every year.

“And for that to be lost would be so costly to York.

“There are plenty of other properties that need developing and this isn’t one of them.”

Another says: “There is a lack of childcare provision in this area of York and would like to ensure the council recognise this and act accordingly with this request.”

City of York Council’s public protection team have already pointed out that noise from the neighbouring venue could mean the flats will not be quiet enough to meet regulations. They have asked for detailed soundproofing plans.

The planning application says the nursery at 7 The Crescent would be turned into four two-bed flats, adding: “Every effort has been made to create a set of proposals which are sympathetic and subservient to the existing building and alterations kept mainly to rear elevations.”