What a place to stay! Rooms in Rowntree Park Lodge could become holiday homes

There’s room at the top at Rowntree Park Lodge – and plans are afoot to turn the space into holiday homes.

The upper floors of the lodge have become vacant and City of York Council plans to spend £150,000 refurbishing them before they are let out to holidaymakers.

This would bring in much-needed income to be invested into the park.

Councillors will make a decision about the future of the lodge at a meeting of City of York Council’s executive on Thursday (January 25).

What will be on offer

Part of the park’s landscape – the lodge seen in the background. Photograph: YorkMix

Rowntree Park Lodge was once home to the park keeper and their family. The two vacant upper storeys of consist of

  • a living room
  • kitchen
  • dining room
  • one large double bedroom
  • one smaller bedroom
  • a recently refurbished bathroom, and
  • a large storage area.

Various ways of using the upper floors are considered in a council report.

These included extending the popular Rowntree Park Reading Café to the upper floors. This idea was discounted because it would require “complex and expensive modification” and not bring in much income.

And although renting out as private residential accommodation would bring in money, it would not meet the recreational use requirement as set out in the building’s convenant.

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The council believes the holiday lets could bring in £1,000 to £1,300 per week. The £150K refurbishment cost will be funded from the revenue receipts generated from future use.

Discussions have taken place with the Friends of Rowntree Park – who believe that the future use of the lodge should benefit the park and should not be sold – and with the Explore Library service who support the holiday let plan.

Rowntree Park in brief

People wait outside the lodge for the official opening of Rowntree Park on July 16, 1921. Photograph: Explore York Libraries and Archives
Rowntree Park was York’s first municipal park.

It was laid out between 1919 and 1921 and is the only known public park designed by Frederick Rowntree who was a distinctive architect in the Arts and Crafts Movement tradition.

The park was presented to the City of York by Messrs Rowntree & Co as a memorial to the Cocoa Works staff that fell and suffered during World War I.

The Terry Avenue gates were added as a memorial following the Second World War and are Grade II* listed.

The park is on the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest.

It was York’s first Green Flag park in 2004.

Source: City of York Council