A planning application has now been submitted to City of York Council by Persimmon Homes for the redevelopment of Bootham Crescent after the impending departure of York City to the new Community Stadium.
This is yet another significant landmark in the club’s history as they prepare to leave their home of the last 87 years and move to Monks Cross. The application, which is in the joint names of the York-based housing developer Persimmon Homes and York City Football Club, is submitted in accordance with the 2005 option agreement between Persimmon Homes Yorkshire and Bootham Crescent Holdings.
The application is based on a mixed scheme of 80 houses and apartments ranging from one to four-bedrooms and with appropriate levels of public open space. The Football Club and Persimmon Homes and their respective advisors have been in discussions for several months along with Historic England in order to address the issues that surround both the development of Bootham Crescent and the club’s departure.
This is to ensure that, in the future, the scheme is not only an exciting and high quality redevelopment of new homes within easy walking distance of York city centre but that it also reflects the heritage of a site which has been the home to the Football Club for 87 years. The club’s board of directors is well aware that this site has touched many people’s lives and has contributed much to both the history of English football and the history of the city of York.
Stadium development director Ian McAndrew said: “Leaving Bootham Crescent is, to some people, controversial and will, undoubtedly, be emotional to all those involved with York City Football Club.
“We are conscious of the importance of the stadium to our supporters and, in particular, those families who have scattered the ashes of their relatives there. I can assure everybody that this issue is at the forefront of our the discussions with both the developer and Historic England.
“Whilst the detail is still being worked on, I can confirm that an area within the public open space will be allocated as a place for remembrance as well as there being permanent reminders of the club’s long history on the site.”
Simon Usher, regional divisional director for Persimmon Homes Yorkshire, said: “We are aware of the sensitive nature of this development and have carefully considered the views expressed at our public consultation meeting and those of Historic England, which have helped form our recently submitted planning application.
“Having worked closely with York City Football Club and Historic England we hope to build 80 homes including affordable housing. The application features a range of house types to meet all budgets and lifestyles.”
Mr McAndrew added: “I am often asked why Persimmon Homes have an option to buy the site and why is it not to be offered far and wide on the open market? It is important to look back in history – as many supporters may not remember the tragic state of affairs in 2002 when the club’s then chairman and directors sold Bootham Crescent to Persimmon Homes leaving the club with only a one year lease.
“When the club went into administration in 2003 it was saved at the eleventh hour by the supporters – and it was necessary, in order to stay playing in the Football League, for the club to have a minimum secure tenure of 10 years.
“This was achieved with the support of the city council, giving guarantees whereby – if the club had to leave Bootham Crescent – it would be able to play at the former Huntington Stadium.
“Negotiations took place over the following two-year period between Jason McGill, other interested parties, and the football authorities.
“Eventually, in 2005, and with the support of the Football Stadium Improvement Fund and mutual agreement with Persimmon Homes the club bought back Bootham Crescent on the basis that York City Football Club would relocate to a new stadium in the future and Persimmon Homes would buy the site via the option granted to them once a new stadium had been built.
“Although, for many reasons, the initial timescales have not been achieved, the summer of 2019 will see the club moving to the new Community Stadium.”
Once registered, the application will be available to view on the City of York Council’s planning website.