A popular York pub could soon be downsized to make way for new flats.

Plans have been submitted to City of York Council for major changes on and around The Falcon Tap on Micklegate.

These would see new apartments built to the rear of the pub, and the development of two flats on the upper floors above the bar.

A drinking area to the rear of the pub would be demolished to make way for two new two-storey residential blocks.

Bar area halved

The exterior of the Falcon Tap. Photograph: York Archaeological Trust

The ground floor bar of the Grade II listed property would be retained, according to the planning application by the 2 Pubs Company Limited.

But the proposals would see the size of the property given over to the pub reduced by nearly a half – from 216 square metres to 115sq m.

A design statement submitted by DC Architecture of Bishopthorpe states:

The intention is to retain the main house as residential accommodation retaining a smaller public bar area to the ground floor, with minimal impact on the existing structure, fixtures and fittings.

The existing modern ground floor extensions to the rear are to be demolished together with the late 19th century double storey boiler housing adjacent the rear elevation.

New two and two and a half storey apartment blocks are to be erected…

Altogether nine one-bedroom studio flats would be built in the two blocks, plus one two-bedroom and one three bedroom flat would be created in the upper floors of the main building.

Trojan horse?

The extension to the rear of the Falcon Tap where new flats could be built. Photograph: York Archaeological Trust

The licensees at the Falcon Tap didn’t want to comment at this stage.

But York CAMRA expressed concerns about the plans.

A spokesman for the organisation said: “York CAMRA are not against the development if it means that the whole business is more sustainable.

“We do realise that the licensed trade is a very competitive market and pubs have to diversify.

“In the absence of any clarification from the owners, we’re worried that such a drastic reduction to the size of the pub is a pre-cursor to an eventual complete closure on the basis it’s not making money.

“Part-conversion is sometimes a Trojan horse for getting an application approved without any objections from CAMRA, who are still fighting 20 pub closures a week.”

The York Conservation Trust has its head office next door to the Falcon Tap.

It has objected to the plan for three reasons:

  1. the height of the proposed apartment block ‘is inappropriate and overly dominating’
  2. proposed glass block windows ‘will look institutional and are not appropriate in this setting’
  3. the proposal will see the demolition of the trust’s boundary wall.

If you would like to see and comment on the plans you can at the City of York Council planning website here.