Latimer secures planning permission for more than 300 homes on site adjacent to major Cocoa Works development

The City of York Council has granted planning permission for a significant mixed-tenure housing scheme with a Gross Development Value (GDV) of more than £98m being brought forward by Latimer, the development arm of Clarion Housing Group.

Latimer’s proposals for the site adjacent to the former Rowntree factory in the centre of York will deliver a sustainable, inclusive and community-focused neighbourhood comprising 302 high-quality new homes – of which 110, more than 35%, will be available through shared ownership and social rent.

Designed by JTP Architects, the homes will respect the site’s heritage and celebrate its legacy, with the 11-acre brownfield plot to be transformed into a development that York residents can enjoy and be proud of for years to come.

Based on feedback gathered through the recent public consultation, the scheme will not only include a mix of one, two and three-bedroom apartments, but also two, three and four-bedroom townhouses – providing a mix of much-needed affordable family homes.

Called ‘Cocoa West’ to reflect the site’s historic surroundings, the scheme will provide high-quality, modern new homes alongside 8,600m2 of outdoor space for residents and the local community to enjoy, as well as crèche facilities on site to support working families.

Sustainability will be a key focus, with low emission and future-proofed homes set within attractive landscaping, as well as connections to local cycle networks and other forms of public transport.

Work on site is expected to begin in early 2022, with the first residents due to move into their new homes in the summer of 2023.

The neighbouring Cocoa Works scheme is already underway, with Latimer’s plans for the eight hectare site, which has been derelict for more than a decade, ensuring that original features of the building are celebrated and incorporated into designs.

Once complete, The Cocoa Works will comprise seven studios, 111 one-bedroom apartments, 146 two-bedroom apartments and 15 three-bedroom apartments, providing a wide range of options for potential buyers.

In 2020/21, Clarion Housing Group completed 2,126 new homes of which 90% were for affordable tenures. Any profits from Latimer schemes are reinvested into Clarion Housing Group to build more affordable homes, improve and maintain existing homes and support communities through the Group’s charitable foundation, Clarion Futures.

Richard Cook, Group Director of Development for Clarion Housing Group, said:
“We’re delighted to have been granted planning permission for our Cocoa West scheme and are grateful for the support and input of the local community. Our plans include the delivery of more than 300 much-needed new homes designed to meet the needs of people at different life stages alongside green open spaces, a children’s play area and crèche facilities to support working families.

“We’re excited to be taking the next step towards the creation of a thriving new neighbourhood that we hope will reignite and reflect the core values of Joseph Rowntree and our founder, William Sutton.”

Councillor Michael Pavlovic told the local press: “It really is heartening to hear of an application that ticks quite so many boxes – it’s not something this committee is used to from developers.”