Fewer homes in latest plans for ex-Nestlé site

DEVELOPERS have submitted their plans for a major housing development on former chocolate factory land in York – with more than 100 fewer homes than expected.

Last month North Yorkshire-based developers Newby revealed plans for the Cocoa West site, the former Rowntree chocolate factory land off Wigginton Road, with 600 homes at a public consultation event.

Now the company has submitted a planning application for the land between Haxby Road and Wigginton Road – although with fewer new homes than previously thought.

According to Newby, a development company based at Newby Hall, near Ripon, the plans include 425 new homes and apartments.

The company says it has worked closely with Nestle, the city council and people in the area, and the plans include open space, community facilities, parking and small-scale commercial uses.

The area is identified within the Local Plan as one of the city’s strategic housing sites.

Nick Moody, director at Newby, said: “We are excited to submit planning proposals for such a significant regeneration project for York.

“We have worked closely with the public, local businesses and the City of York Council to provide a proposal that we hope will realise the full potential of the area, as well as safeguard the future of this strategic site.

“The proposed new scheme will deliver much-needed new homes for the residents of York in an accessible location that is within walking distance of the city centre and is also well positioned along the Sustrans cycle route.”

The land to the west of the Cocoa Works has been vacant for around eight years following the demolition of the old factory buildings in 2010.

Newby already has permission to convert the empty Rowntree Almond and Cream buildings into 258 flats and construction work is due to start in September.

The historic factory on Haxby Road opened in 1892 and at its peak 14,000 people were employed by Rowntree. In 1988, Swiss multinational Nestle bought the business.

The Almond buildings were constructed in 1910 while the cream block was built in 1936 and further extended to the north in 1938 in an art deco style. The buildings have sat empty since 2008 when the building was no longer suitable for modern production. Newby’s plans to bring forward the cleared land at the rear of these buildings represents an important next step in the redevelopment of this large brownfield site.

Vehicular access will be provided from both Haxby Road and Wigginton Road and a through route will be available for buses, cyclists and pedestrians.

The approved design of the Almond and Cream building will preserve the structure with little change to the façade, and also restore features such as the memorial library.