On behalf of our client Latimer, the development arm of Clarion Housing Group, JTP is delighted to have secured planning approval for the creation of a new community on vacant brownfield land at Cocoa West, York. The site was formerly occupied by the confectionery factories of the Rowntree family, now known as Nestle, and is located to the west of the retained Cocoa Works factory which is currently being refurbished by Latimer.
Cocoa West will deliver a new neighbourhood of 302 homes in a range of sizes. Dwellings will vary from 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments up to 4 bedroom homes introducing more family housing in the area. The neighbourhood will provide 36% affordable housing in a mix of social rented and shared ownership dwellings, alongside homes for private sale to meet the needs of a wide range of people in the community. The affordable housing will be well distributed across the site and visually indistinguishable to create a tenure blind neighbourhood.
This planning approval is a fantastic achievement for all the team, and we are thrilled to have crafted a compelling vision for the new community that respects and celebrates the legacy of the Rowntree family and their past contributions to the local area.
Rebecca Taylor, Partner at JTP
A series of character areas which respond and celebrate the site’s historic context will be established, comprising central streets of terraced dwellings and clusters of mews housing. The design of the houses and apartments have been developed with reference to York’s local vernacular, in particular the model village of New Earswick, which was developed by Joseph Rowntree for his workers, and feature predominantly brick buildings with detailing to window edges and feature bands. The use of colour for front doors, storage areas, and within the landscaping, draw on the site’s historic association with the manufacture of sweets and chocolate.
Over 8,600 m2 of open space provides a variety of areas for recreation and play, allowing residents to have immediate access to the outdoors. There are two key areas of public open space, including a neighbourhood square, which will provide a flexible, multi-functional space at the heart of Cocoa West and be overlooked by the surrounding homes and activated by a new crèche; and a community garden sitting on a key route through the site with intimate gardens and larger meadow grass areas. These areas are provided alongside an area of woodland park, an herb and pollinator garden for insects, an orchard area and natural play space.
A network of new routes will improve pedestrian and cycle connections across the new neighbourhood, providing access to the new facilities around Cocoa Works East to encourage residents from respective neighbourhoods to come together.
The York City Council Planning Committee members had high praise for the new neighbourhood commenting that it was excellent and “heartening to see a planning application which ticked so many boxes” for the community. They also praised the project’s sustainability credentials, the provision of affordable housing which is far beyond the policy requirement and the way in which the design was reflective of the ethos of the Rowntree family.
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.
Richard Cook, Group Director of Development for Clarion Housing Group