New office development next to the Crescent music venue revealed – Historic malthouse set to be demolished

The offices are at the far end of the Crescent in York. Images: planning documents
25 Aug 2020 @ 7.15 am
| Changing city

These are the offices set to be built next door to the Crescent Community Venue and across the road from the Everyman Cinema.

The three storey block would replace a Victorian malthouse, which was most recently used as a pop-up space featuring food, drink, art and performance, with permission of developers North Star.

It would create more than 41,000 sq ft of office space, enough for 300 people to work there.

Planning documents say: “While there are a number of constraints on this
site, there is also a key opportunity to create a deliberate, defined end to the Victorian terrace.

“Being well connected to transport routes and local amenities, the site presents a good opportunity for sustainable development utilising a robust fabric first approach.”

The development would provide “a high quality, sustainable development
of a fitting use for the location” and “establish a bridge between two historic
neighbourhoods”.

The old malthouse

To be demolished: The Malthouse on the Crescent. Photograph: YorkMix

The malthouse was built by the 1890s.

In the submission to City of York Council, developers say: “Historic England and City of York Council have advised that the former malthouse is valued for its contribution to the character of this part of the Conservation Area, and should be retained and converted to accommodate another use.”

They also said that “the loss of the malthouse building would cause harm to the Conservation Area”.

Looking from the end of the Crescent

The York Trades Directory for 1893 shows the occupants included brewer EP Brett. The Brett Brothers ran a number of local pubs, including what is now Yates’ bar.

Developers explored retaining and converting the Malthouse. They say it only “retains a few characteristics of a late nineteenth century malthouse” and has been significantly remodelled.

“The building has not been well maintained and as such would require significant investment to further investigate and remedy issues arising from the general lack of maintenance, the presence of asbestos, cracking to the brick walls and concrete floor, rotting rafters and damp,” a report says.

Converting it to offices would leave many of the workers without access to natural light.

The location would make it unsuitable for a hotel, and there is not enough room to make a feasible residential development, documents say. These uses would also place it conflict with its neighbour, a live music venue.

Another angle on the development
Where the offices are located

Developers write: “We therefore conclude that retention and conversion of the former malthouse would not result in satisfactory accommodation for the uses suggested and, on that basis, would not attract a developer willing to take on a scheme there.”

They say the only practical course is to pull down The Malthouse and build the new offices.