There are worse places to live in York…
A stone’s throw from the Minster, overlooking the hidden St William’s College garden, and found on the footprint of the Roman legionary fortress – it would be a nice address to have.
At the moment Church House on Ogleforth is an office block. But its owner, the Dean and Chapter of York Minster, want to turn it into 11 flats.
They reckon this would bring in £150,000 per year in rental income – which would help towards the £22,000 a day it costs to run the Minster.
Those people now working in the offices – 28 full time and six part time – would be transferred to St William’s College, in line with the York Minster Precinct Neighbourhood Plan.
Church House is a 19th century three-storey building plus attics, which backs on to the rear of St William’s College.
The rear of the building has views of the Minster.
‘A valuable asset’
The Dean and Chapter are seeking planning permission to convert the building into 11 flats – one with three bedrooms, six with two bedrooms and four with one bedroom.
“The relocation of office use to St William’s College will effectively leave Church House vacant,” planning documents state.
“Church House is a valuable asset to realise a future income stream for the repairs and ongoing restoration of the Minster and its precinct.”
Converting the building to flats would bring in an “annual income estimated to be c.£150,000. To put this into context, this would pay for the conservation of the medieval stained glass and addition of protective glazing to a Nave Aisle window.”
Conversion would require the removal of a lime tree to the south, which is in good condition but which would reduce light to four of the flats. Two cherry trees would be planted in its place
The building, which dates back no further than 1897, is not listed. But it lies in the York Conservation Area.
Planning documents offer some history of the building.
“The property which included the site of Church House became a bookbinders for a short period and was then turned into a coach builder’s works.
“The ‘Coach Manufactory’ building was demolished at some point during the late 19th century or early 20th century when the present building was constructed.
“The present building was put to a variety of uses during the 20th century including a carpet warehouse until it was bought by the Dean and Chapter in the mid- I980s.”
You can read the planning application here.