Historic working men’s club set to be turned into flats – despite pollution worries

The block of flats in the former club's garden. Image: planning documents

Plans to turn the former New York Club on Blossom Street into flats are set to be approved – despite objections from the hotel next door.

And there are fears about the high levels of pollution on the street affecting future residents.

City of York Council planning officers have recommended the scheme to create 16 new apartments on the site for approval.

The former New York Club and Institute is currently empty – but under the plans developer York City Living Ltd would turn the building into eight flats and build another building in the garden for a further eight apartments.

Pollution worries

The New York Club on Blossom Street, York. Photograph © Google Street View

A branch of Premier Inn is based in the buildings on either side of the club – and according to a report prepared for the planning committee the hotel has objected to the scheme – saying it would overlook bedrooms.

The report says: “The owners of the hotel chain have also cited an objection on the impact of overshadowing to their property.”

The council’s public protection team highlighted the pollution levels on Blossom Street, saying windows in rooms facing the street should be fixed shut and that mechanical ventilation is needed.

The report says: “The health based annual mean nitrogen objective is being breached on Blossom Street at the existing monitoring locations.

“It is considered likely that the health based objectives are also being exceeded directly outside the development site and public protection would recommend a precautionary approach with respect to mitigation.”

Closed last year

How it used to be… the Railwaymen’s Club. Photograph: Planning documents

The club closed in January 2019 and was one of the oldest in York – being open for about 90 years, according to the applicant. But it struggled with member numbers, fell into debt and in September 2018 a majority vote was taken to close it.

It was a social meeting place and had a library with a variety of sections including angling, cribbage, darts, dominoes, football, pigeons, snooker and walking, the applicant said.

Planning officers recommend the scheme is approved at a meeting today, saying: “The site is previously developed land, sustainably located close to the city centre and on a key arterial route with access to public transport and other means of travel other than the car.”

“The flats to be provided will provide an acceptable standard of residential amenity for the prospective occupiers in terms of daylight and sunlight and a condition to develop further a ventilation strategy will ensure that occupiers are not exposed to poor air quality.

“The loss of the use of the building as a community facility is on balance acceptable; due to the cessation of the club, the level of disrepair within the building and that the operation of the club is no longer financially viable.”