Plans to turn a Victorian pub into student flats look set to be given the green light today (Wednesday).
Residents of the Groves have objected to the plan to convert the Castle Howard Ox into 16 student apartments.
But City of York Council officers are recommending it is approved at a planning meeting this afternoon.
The Groves once boasted four pubs and a club, but The Magpie was demolished in 2005, The Groves Working Men’s Club closed in 2007, and The Reindeer was turned into a Londis shop in 2009.
It leaves just The Punch Bowl on Lowther Street, which itself was only saved from closure by a community campaign.
These are some of the objections put forward by neighbours:
“I don’t think York really needs anymore student accommodation and I really think
that the Groves needs something it can use to bring the community together. The Groves had four pubs and it will now be reduced to one, if this pub is turned into student accommodation.”
“There is too much student housing in the area… They pay no council tax so adding to a burden to the City of York Council. Perhaps commercial blocks should be made to pay commercial rates as the council is cash strapped as it is.”
“What the area is most in need of is a community centre that is in the hands of the
residents. It would be really nice if this building could become something for everyone living in the area rather than just the students.”
Under the plans by Wetherby-based Alfa Homes, the main pub building would be redeveloped and a small extension added alongside, following demolition of an existing extension.
Purpose-built as a pub in the 1830s, the Castle Howard Ox is thought to have been named after a prize winner in a cattle show. It has been closed for around four years.
In their report, council planning officers state: “The scheme would preserve the character and appearance of the conservation area, and the setting of listed buildings within it, in addition the proposed would be of appropriate scale, form and materials and is not considered to result in harm or loss of an undesignated heritage asset.”
They say the developers should pay £2,416 to turn the disused bowling green at nearby Clarence Gardens “into a more robust area of amenity grassland”.
The meeting takes place at 4.30pm. You can watch it live on the City of York Council YouTube page.