York Racecourse, York Civic Trust and residents have hit out at plans for two apartment blocks and seven houses to be built on the Chocolate Works site.
They have fears over the size of the development – which would create an extra 92 homes – as well as the impact on traffic, risks to the historic significance of the site and noise from events at the racecourse disturbing new residents.
But the plans are set to be approved by a planning committee on Thursday (13 August).
The planning application has been submitted by developers Henry Boot and Stonebridge Homes.
The council’s own public protection team have raised concerns about the homes being so close to York Racecourse – which holds regular concerts and events throughout the year – and asked for noise insulation to be installed.
And the National Trust at Goddard’s House have also raised concerns about the scheme.
‘The scheme is still too large’
William Derby, chief executive at York Racecourse, says in a letter to the council’s planning department: “York Racecourse would still like to object to the amended scheme as the scheme is still too large, ie 90 units.
“We would also reiterate our comments made in our letter of January 4 2019 that the eventual occupiers should be made aware that York Racecourse is a busy events venue all year round.
“We also note that parking has become an increasing issue on Bishopthorpe and Campleshon Roads, and this is also likely to become a larger issue due to an increase in housing density in the area.”
And a letter from the Chocolate Works Residents Association, representing people already living at the development, says they believe “the current proposals still fail to achieve a level of design quality fit for this iconic location.
“They are still too high, bulky and involve a questionable mix of materials.”
They also have concerns about access to shops, public transport, GP surgeries and space for children to play.
York Civic Trust also objects to the scheme – saying it creates too many homes for the site and is too tall – having an impact on views.
But planning officers say the plans should be given the green light.
‘Less than substantial harm’
A report prepared for the meeting says the site is “previously developed land in a sustainable location”.
It adds: “Outline planning permission has previously been given for the office element of a mixed use scheme on the site with a similar scale and massing.
“It is felt that the scheme as amended would give rise to less than substantial harm to the setting of the multi-storey factory, Goddard’s House and its park and garden or the Terry’s Racecourse Conservation Area.
“The harm caused is felt to be outweighed by the public benefit of the development of a previously developed site in a sustainable location for residential use.
“The scale and design of the proposal would not harm the living conditions of nearby residents and subject to any permission being appropriately conditioned the amenity of existing residents would be safeguarded.”
The meeting takes place at 4.30pm broadcast on Youtube.