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Development news19 January 2024

Progress in York at the Cocoa Works and Cocoa Gardens development

We were pleased to welcome Rachael Maskell, the Member of Parliament for York Central, to visit our Cocoa Works and Cocoa Gardens development in York, bringing in much-needed affordable housing.

Latimer, the development arm of Clarion, is redeveloping the former Rowntree Factory buildings and adjacent gardens. The development will be delivered across five phases, with an anticipated gross development value of £83 million.

The Cocoa Works development has seen the redevelopment of the iconic Rowntree factory building. This will see 279 homes delivered in total, with over 70% of apartments already sold, and the first residents already moved in. Of the 279 homes, 84 are available through shared ownership, with a range of studio, one, two, and three-bed apartments available.

The Cocoa Gardens development sees 302 homes built on the former Rowntree’s factory gardens. Last autumn, we saw the first spade in the ground at Cocoa Gardens. Councillor Joy Cullwick, Lady Mayoress of York; Councillor Michael Pavlovic, executive member for housing, planning and safer communities at York City Council; and Councillor Peter Kilbane, deputy leader of the council and member for economy and transport at York City Council, all attended the ground-breaking ceremony. Over a third of the homes (36 per cent) at Cocoa Gardens will be available on an affordable basis, from shared ownership through to affordable rent.

The former Rowntree’s Factory holds a special place in York’s history. It was built by Joseph Rowntree, a businessman and philanthropist in the 1890s. Many of the sweet and chocolate brands we love today were invented at Rowntree, such as KitKat, Aero, and Smarties.

Speaking on her visit to the site, Rachael Maskell said:

“York is Rowntree and Rowntree is York, and we really do value the relationship we've got with our past as well as today.”

“Rowntree wasn't just about a chocolate factory, it was about social infrastructure. It was about innovation, we think about our parks and our theatre and swimming pool, and so much in our city which is a legacy of Rowntree and now to see good quality homes.

“One of the biggest legacies of the Rowntree family was building New Earswick, and then building social housing and good quality homes for the future.”

“So having that legacy of seeing these old buildings being converted into housing today is a really exciting prospect.”