PEOPLE living at the development on the former Terry’s Chocolate Factory are furious that plans to build family homes on part of the site have been axed in favour of building two blocks of flats.

A planning application to build two four-storey apartment blocks on land behind the development has already attracted 100 objection letters.

Neighbours living at The Residence next door to the site say family homes were originally planned for the land and the scheme for 123 flats will be a “blot on the landscape”.

Ray Calpin, a retired York College lecturer who lives in the development, said: “It is important that any future development is in keeping as it is going to be there for this and future generations.

“The area, on the doorstep of the racecourse and the Knavesmire is of huge local significance because of its history and culture, not to mention its value as a special place for recreation.”

The application, submitted by developers Stonebridge Homes and Henry Boot, says there would be 45 one-bed apartments, 57 two-beds and 21 three-beds spread over the two buildings, as well as 130 parking spaces.

But neighbouring residents have raised concerns about the appearance of the blocks, saying they will create a “city landscape” next to the racecourse and that there is not enough parking.

Cllr Jonny Crawshaw said: “Residents living on the Terry’s site feel that plans have changed significantly from what was promised when they moved in.

“I consider this to be an over-development that will be detrimental to both the community currently living on the former Terry’s site and the wider community in South Bank.

“Furthermore, I believe this development as proposed will significantly harm the view and setting of the Grade 2 listed factory building – an iconic part of York’s skyline.”

But planning documents say the scheme will provide up to 20 per cent affordable homes and that the planning permission currently in place for the site has a “far greater footprint” than the new proposals.

A statement says: “Given its location within the racecourse and Terry’s Factory conservation area and its proximity to a number of listed buildings, great care has been taken in the design, scale, massing, layout and appearance of the development. As a result, the accompanying heritage assessment has concluded that it will not harm the significance of these heritage assets.

“At the same time, it will make efficient use of the available land and make a material contribution towards meeting the city’s housing land requirements.”

The application says a “rigorous public consultation” process has taken place including meetings with members of the public.

Access to the development would be from the existing private road that leads to The Residence car park.