Sale of Grove House for £1.6 million

Grove House, Penleys Grove Street

Grove House, Penleys Grove Street

The former Grove House elderly persons home is being sold for £1.6 million.

The property was the subject of an unsuccessful attempt to list it as an asset of community value earlier in the year.

The sale price is less than the slightly larger Oliver House site fetched last year.

The site is both financially valuable and strategically important, lying just outside the city walls in a largely residential area.

A total of eleven bids were received for the site from nine bidders, seven of which are conditional upon planning permission being obtained.

There were a range of bids for different schemes with vastly different values ranging from £600k to some £1.6m.

The Executive will be asked to approve the Norstar Real Estates proposal as the preferred bid and if approved, the council will enter into detailed commercial discussions.  Norstar Real Estates placed the highest bid of £1.6m and are proposing to convert the existing building into 29 one bedroom flats for sale or rent, including on site affordable homes.

Details of community right to bid applicants published

Grove House, Penleys Grove Street

Grove House, Penleys Grove Street

Details of the organisations seeking to have two local buildings listed as being of community value have been revealed by the York Council.

The Grove House elderly persons home is interesting a group known as The Groves Association. Their application echos a similar bid made for Oliver House over 12 months ago which sought to use the building for  “communal living”.  Under current legislation residential buildings cannot be listed as being of community value. Details of a private sale are likely to be published in September

White Rose House in Wheldrake is used by the Guiding movement at present. The local Parish Council is seeking to have it listed.

Officials have ruled out listing either building

Bid to stop sell off of Grove House

Wheldrake Guide centre move
Grove House, Penleys Grove Street

Grove House, Penleys Grove Street

We reported in April that the former elderly person’s home at Grove House was being sold by the Council. The building has been empty for some time.

No sale has gone through and now a bid is being made to list the buildings under the Community Right to Bid legislation. The move follows a similar initiative last month involving a number of pubs and other properties (which were subsequently added to the list).

The request will be considered at a meeting taking place on 15th August. Any listing would mean that residents would have 6 months in which to raise the asking price for the site.

White Rose House, Wheldrake

White Rose House, Wheldrake

In this case – as it is in a prime residential area – the price may match the £3 million recently paid for another Council home at Oliver House

A community group has also expressed an interest in bidding for White Rose House in Wheldrake which is currently used as a Girl Guiding centre.

Grove House on the market next month

May be demolished later in the year

Grove House

Grove House

Following our story yesterday, it has emerged that the former elderly persons home at Grove House could be placed on the open market for sale as soon as next month.

The property is currently empty.

Council officials are saying though, because planning permission will be needed if, as  expected, houses are to be built on the site, it could be the middle of 2017 before redevelopment work starts.

The Council may decide to demolish the buildings in the interim.

All existing York Council Elderly Persons Homes set to close before 2019

£2 million price tag put on Lowfields site – Future of playing fields unclear.

Labours plans to abandon the super care home project mean that 7 existing elderly persons homes will close:

  • Grove House,
  • Haxby Hall,
  • Morrell House,
  • Oakhaven,
  • Windsor House,
  • Willow House and
  • Woolnough House.

All will close by March 2019.  The first will close its doors next year.

The Council expects many of the occupants to move into homes provided by the “independent sector”

Houses will be built on most of the vacated sites.

It is proposed that the Lowfields site be used for the provision of “over 100 new homes” including “downsizing” homes to rent and buy for older people as well as “starter homes to rent and buy so that younger families can get on to the housing ladder”.  

The Council says that a capital receipt of “at least £2m” for the land will also be realised, confirming that any redevelopment will be by the private sector.

Whether the playing fields are included in this purchase price is unclear



It is proposed that the “facilities for older people originally envisaged as part of the Community Village on the Lowfields site be, instead, provided at a newly built Extra Care and Health Hub which is expected to replace the Oakhaven OPH on “Front Street” (sic)”.

The Council says it

will be on making best use of the existing stock of Extra Care Housing in the city.  There are five dedicated sheltered housing with ‘extra care’ services in York containing 205 units of accommodation.

Four of these are Council managed schemes – Marjorie Waite Court, Gale Farm Court, Barstow House and Glen Lodge, whilst the fifth (Auden House) is managed by York Housing Association. All homes in these schemes are to rent”.

The Council claims that many of those occupying places in these homes don’t need “extra care” facilities and hints that they may be moved out to make way for those judged to have higher needs!

They say, “We will work with exiting residents to keep disruption to a minimum

The report concludes,

York is also under-supplied with Extra Care Housing given the city’s demographics and the anticipated growth in the numbers of over 75s expected over the next decade.

Analysis suggests that there will be need for 490 units of Extra Care accommodation by 2020, rising to 645 in 2030, based upon nation benchmarks. There is a need for both Extra Care to rent and Extra Care to buy; currently just one third of the provision in York is to buy despite 81% of York’s older residents owning their own home.

The independent sector is beginning to address this need. For example, McCarthy & Stone are currently building 28 new sheltered homes to buy at Smithson Court on Top Lane in Copmanthorpe. Elsewhere in Yorkshire they are beginning to build and provide their Extra Care offer – called Assisted Living – and we would expect that they will continue to provide new accommodation as the market demands”.

With the overcrowding in York NHS hospitals reaching crisis point over the last few months, partly as a result of a lack of availability of the right kind of care places for the elderly in the City, the prospect of another 4 years elapsing before the issues are resolved is deeply worrying.