Latimer to revive iconic York building

  • Revised planning permission granted to transform former Rowntree factory into much-needed affordable homes
  • The Cocoa Works will be one of Yorkshire’s largest shared ownership schemes
  • Work on 279-home scheme has already begun

Latimer, the development arm of Clarion Housing Group, will push forward with work on the former Rowntree factory site on Haxby Road in the centre of the city after new proposals were rubber-stamped by the City of York Council.  

The new proposals will deliver 279 apartments, of which 84 will be available for shared ownership. With a Gross Development Value (GDV) of approximately £80 million, The Cocoa Works will comprise seven studios, 111 one-bedroom apartments, 146 two-bedroom apartments and 15 three-bedroom apartments.

The old Joseph Rowntree Memorial Library will also be refurbished, providing a character-filled community space for residents to enjoy.  

The factory was completed in 1890 and had over 6,000 employees by the 1920s, producing world-famous confectionary brands. Latimer’s plans for the site will ensure original features of the building are celebrated and incorporated into designs.  

The eight hectare site has been derelict for more than a decade, and permission was initially granted in 2017 to build 258 private sale apartments. Clarion subsequently revised and enhanced the scheme, introducing shared ownership properties to provide greater opportunity for people to enter the property market. 

Richard Cook, Group Director of Development for Clarion Housing Group, said:

“We are hugely excited to be moving ahead with this project which will unlock the potential of one of York’s most iconic buildings. Our new proposals include more than 30 per cent shared ownership homes, enabling people to take their first step on the property ladder or move into a new home that suits their needs.

“Our Cocoa Works scheme will create original apartments celebrating the proud heritage of the building and the city, but will also deliver a development that the people of York can enjoy and be proud of for years to come.”

Cllr Denise Craghill, Executive Member for Housing and Safer Neighbourhoods at City of York Council, said:

“I welcome developments which build on the city’s growing range of affordable homes. This revised approval for The Cocoa Works now includes an affordable percentage above our minimum guidelines and will offer welcome new options to lower-income residents seeking to buy their own homes.”

Latimer is the private sale arm of Clarion Housing Group which exists to build homes and create communities, contributing to tackling the housing crisis. What sets Latimer apart is its long-term commitment to the people who live in its homes, creating sustainable and thriving communities. Latimer is part of a social business, reinvesting profits back into building more affordable homes and supporting Clarion residents.

To find out more about The Cocoa Works, visit www.thecocoa-works.com