Nearly 10 years after the Almond and Cream production blocks at the Nestle/Rowntree site fell empty, plans to turn the building into residential accommodation look set to get the go ahead next week.
The planning committee is being recommended to approve the conversion of the building and as action the erection of a nearby “convenience store”. There will be 37 x 1 bedroom, 205 x 2 bedroom and 16 x 3 bedroom apartments.
5 affordable units will be provided (off site)
Imaginative plans would see the Grade 2 listed library building converted into communal use.
The conversion will make it one of the largest brownfield residential development in the city and should reduce the pressure to build on greenfield sites.
However only 173 car parking spaces are being provided meaning many of the flat dwellers will have to forgo private car ownership (or use a car club). With visitor parking also required we do doubt whether this arrangement will work.
Council officials are suggesting that the first occupiers are offered the following measures/initiatives to promote and incentivise sustainable travel whilst also reducing dependence on the private car;
- The choice to first occupiers of either a free bus pass or cycle/cycle accessories to the maximum value of £200
- A contribution of £200 per residential unit to be used towards the provision of a car club vehicle at the development and incentives including free membership and drive time credits per residential unit.
The Council still talks about the vehicular link from Haxby Rd to Wigginton Rd – of which this projects access road would be part – as a public transport link. Many will feel that such a new link could provide more general congestion and pollution relief for the area.
Nevertheless, it presents a bold move forward in addressing the demand for new housing in the City and one that we hope planners will grasp