As someone who couldn’t imagine living in a flat by choice, David Wilson Homes faced a hard sell when they asked me to road test their show apartment at The Chocolate Works in York.I amazed myself by awarding it top marks because it excelled in almost all key areas: location, functionality, design, space and style.
It’s horses for courses, naturally. I love going to the races and I love walking and this development is right next to the Knavesmire, which has 254 acres of land open to public access and one of the best racecourses in the north.It’s also a short stroll to the shops and cafes on fashionable Bishopthorpe Road and you can walk into the city centre along the river.Space in the two-bedroom flat was ample, surprisingly, and included a wide entrance hall with storage, a large en-suite bedroom, a double bedroom, bathroom and an open plan living space. The kitchen was well designed and perfect for a keen cook, which I’m not.
Fears of feeling hemmed in were soothed by access to a balcony and the full-height glazing that brings natural light and views into the apartment and increases the sense of space.It’s a show home so it was stylishly decorated but it was also practical in showing you where you could put your belongings.
Another concern was hearing the neighbours. I didn’t but they may not have been in - some of these apartments have been bought as second homes.Mostly, according to The Chocolate Works sales manager, Francesca Burke, they have been snapped up by downsizers and keen racegoers with a smattering of first-time buyers.
The houses on this development, which is on land that was part of the Terry’s Chocolate Factory, have been popular with families.Work on the 330 home site started in 2015 and the bulk is complete with just another block of apartments, 21 houses and a convenience store to come.It was designed by Richard Partrington architects who sought inspiration from the nearby Art Deco Terry’s factory, which is being converted into apartments by P.J. Livesey.Prices for The Chocolate Factory flats are from £209,995 to £249,995 for a one-bed and two beds start at £264,995 to £359,995.The houses in the final phase are expected to be from £493,000.My only issue is the lack of planting on the site, which makes it look austere. It should be a must-have, not least to create habitat for birds and bees.Even if developers couldn’t care less about the planet, they should be aware that while greenery is a big selling point even if buyers don’t consciously acknowledge it. It adds feel good factor. It’s a must-have.Contact: The Chocolate Works, tel: 01904 231934, email [email protected] or visit https://www.dwh.co.uk/new-homes/york/h635401-the-chocolate-works,-york/