Planning inspector to make decision on retirement home on greenbelt land near former Terry's factory site in York

Plans for retirement accommodation on green belt land in York will go before a planning inspector after the developer said the council was taking too long to make a decision.

McCarthy and Stone retirement company and developers Henry Boot want to see the land, in the main a surfaced car park, on Bishopthorpe Road turned into 70 flats and a car park.

The plans were submitted at the end of 2020, but the council has not made a decision and the developers claim the authority is “unable to provide a clear timeframe for the application to be determined.”

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The land, opposite the former Terry’s Chocolate Factory site, is in the green belt but allocated for housing in the emerging York Local Plan, according to a statement of case by the developer.

An artist's impression of how the site could look

The statement lays out the reasons the developers think the scheme should go ahead.

It states: “The first and most obvious is the compelling need for additional specialist retirement accommodation for the elderly in York. The appellant’s scheme will have an entry level age requirement of 70 years and in reality, most residents will be significantly older, the average on entry being 83 years of age.”

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Micklegate ward councillor Jonny Crawshaw has raised residents’ concerns about the extra pressure the development could put on GP surgeries and transport links.

The Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group has also said it is worried about increased GP waiting times and has asked for a contribution of £72,000 to mitigate the impacts of the development.

The developers state that most residents will come from nearby and so will already be using local NHS services.

They add: “The NHS has shown no clear evidence to support their case of local GP practices not having the ability to cope with our new occupiers.”

A government planning inspector will conduct an inquiry into the case on Tuesday, April 26.