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CABE ‘unconvinced’ but Chocolate Works wins go-ahead

Turley Associates £165 million redevelopment of the former Terry’s Chocolate site in York has bagged planning consent despite CABE’s objections

City of York Council approved a revised version of the ‘Chocolate Works’ scheme by developer Grantside, which was unanimously rejected 18 months ago.

CABE said of the revised scheme: ‘We are disappointed that the design principles drawn from the design team’s analysis of this site have not been translated into a convincing masterplan for the site.’

The historic chocolate-making site ‘demands a more connected hierarchy of streets, spaces and urban blocks… the proposed road layout suggests confusion in the hierarchy of streets that could work against a well-functioning neighbourhood,’ according to the government’s design watchdog.

Council leader Andrew Waller was angered by CABE’s comments – in particular having only received the design review findings just days before the committee meeting – claiming the design review panel had tried to throw ‘a spanner in the works’.

The scheme, which includes the redevelopment of four listed buildings and the iconic Terry’s Clock Tower, will deliver more than 2,700 new jobs in new and refurbished offices, two hotels, shops, bars, cafés and restaurants, over 250 homes, a nursery, care home and medical centre.

Matt Quayle, director at Turley Associates’ Leeds office said: ‘From the outset our aim was to create a scheme that engaged the local community and reconnected the site with the surrounding residential areas. 

Quayle said: ‘This approach has been positively received and resulted in a strong recommendation of approval from Council Officers.  We look forward to continuing this positive working relationship in the future.’

Meanwhile, planning committee member Ann Reid told York Press: ‘I think people will always find fault with something like this, but we need to make a decision now. Grantside has listened to our original concerns and has adapted its plans.

‘There may be concerns about extra traffic, but let us not forget that when the Terry’s site was in use before, there was also extra traffic then.’

Read CABE’s full design report here.

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