New hospital to be built on former Terry’s site in York
Plans for a new brain injury hospital on the site of the former Terry’s chocolate factory have been given the go-ahead by councillors.
The Disabilities Trust facility, currently based at the The Retreat in Heslington Road, faced closure if their bid for a new home on the land south of Bishopthorpe Road was not approved, a meeting of the council’s planning committee was told on Thursday.
The new two-storey building will include 40 bed spaces, treatment rooms, a sensory garden and car parking.
The service, which employs 145 staff, provides rehabilitation for 40 people with acquired brain injury and complex needs.
Keeley Mitchell, from The Disabilities Trust, told councillors they had exhausted all other options for a new home in York.
She added: “We are keen to continue York’s proud tradition of mental health care as well as York being a city of human rights.”
She added that the new building would be “more modern and less institutionalised” than The Retreat site.
The Retreat – founded by Quakers in 1796 – has closed several of its services over the past few years.
Johnny Hayes, a former councillor for the area, well known for his campaign against a new visitor centre at Clifford’s Tower, said the “off the peg NHS design” was “not up to scratch” on an important York heritage site.
“It’s precious to our city and a wonderful landmark, sitting as it does on the edge of open countryside, and precious to the many thousands of people who worked here over many generations.
“It’s a great idea but the design seems to be shoehorned into the site.”
Councillors had some reservations about the proposed building’s appearance, but voted to approve the plans.
Plans for housing on the site were rejected last year.
Councillor Johnny Crawshaw said: “It’s a vast improvement on the prior application and something of huge benefit to a great number of people in the city and the wider area.”