Irwin Mitchell Advises On Chocolate Works Deal

Landmark Acquisition Set To Boost Jobs and Construction Sector In York


By David Shirt

The Leeds office of national law firm, Irwin Mitchell, has advised Henry Boot Developments on its deal to acquire the former Terry’s chocolate factory in York.

The historic, 27-acre site, dubbed ‘The Chocolate Works’, has been bought by Henry Boot Developments together with York housebuilder, David Wilson Homes, from owners GHT Developments (Grantside) for an undisclosed sum.

Henry Boot will develop the commercial buildings which will include a variety of offices, hotels and shops. The majority of the 270 homes to be developed by David Wilson Homes will be built on the north side of the site.

John Flathers, Partner and head of Irwin Mitchell’s Real Estate team in Leeds, worked closely on the deal with Real Estate Associate, James Knowles.

John said: “This is a fantastic scheme to be involved in and will be a welcome boost for York in terms of construction jobs, new homes and new commercial opportunities. It has been great to see all parties coming together to complete the deal and with Henry Boot and  David Wilson Homes involved, I have no doubt that it will be a success.”

Ben Ward at Henry Boot said: “This is an important strategic business location close to the racecourse and easily accessible from the city centre.  The unique buildings on the site will offer a high quality product and we are excited about the potential that it offers to inward investors looking to locate in York.  We have an excellent track record of project delivery and the skills to unlock the potential of the site, for the benefit of the city as a whole.  We are already talking to potential occupiers across a range of sectors which is really encouraging and reinforces our belief in the location.”

Paul Newman, managing director of David Wilson Homes Yorkshire East, said: "The site has planning approval, subject to a 106 agreement, and we are already talking to the council's planning team to speed these matters through so that we can get started.

"Demolition work has already been completed and we are keen to get the infrastructure in place to start building homes this year. We believe that there is extensive local support for the new homes planned for the site and we intend to keep talking with neighbours as our plans develop. Every indication is that the council too is keen to support the quick development of the site.

"All being well, we could begin on site in the summer, creating up to 200 new construction jobs in the process (measured in employment years). We’re tremendously excited about the opportunity to regenerate this deteriorating brownfield site to make it into a vibrant part of the local South Bank community."

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in relation to Real Estate work.