Club Salvation to downsize to one floor with upstairs to be converted into accommodation

RIP top floor Salvos


Plans have been put in place for Club Salvation to downsize to one floor with the upstairs to be converted into accommodation.

City of York Planners are urging councillors to support this scheme due to the club facing challenges.

Government policies which allow bars to open late and enables other nearby places to recieve late night licenses have consequently reduced the customer base in the Rougier Street area, as reported by York Press.

Speaking of the business’ attempts to attract more customers, council planners said: “The owners tried to respond to the decline with cheap drink nights to try and keep the customers and eventually turned to attract a student customer base. This has been quite successful, however the expected cheap drinks eat into profit margins. The club charges approximately half the price of drinks elsewhere.

“At present the club opens Wednesday, Friday and Saturday during term time, which equates to Wednesdays and Fridays for 26 weeks of the year and Saturdays for 50 weeks of the year, although out of term time the Saturdays are very much less busy and at Christmas they do not open at all.

Explaining that it is rare that both floors of the club are used and are filled out, they continued: “Most nights the first floor is closed off after a certain time and sometimes it doesn’t even get opened up. Therefore, having just one floor would make it more viable and have little impact on the club itself.”

This change hasn’t come out of the blue. In September 2018 plans to turn Salvos into a restaurant and flats were submitted as a future possibility but these conversion plans were turned down in February 2019. Following this rejection, by September 2019 Salvos had applied again for planning permission to convert the current site into a restaurant and flats, although management stated that it did not intend to make use of them yet.

Ward councillors Jonny Crawshaw and Pete Kilbane encouraged planners to ensure the council abided by its policy to protect cultural facilities, reminding them this includes nightclubs and music venues.

The planners indicated that changes in usage would generally be “resisted” but using the city centre for a hotel is acceptable. The operation of the flats would create approximately five to six full-time jobs, enhancing the variety of city centre accommodation options.

Their report also outlined that reducing the club’s capacity from 800 to 500 by limiting its use to the ground floor would “provide for a more viable venue,” thereby “retaining employment opportunities.”

In recommending approval, planners highlighted that the site is within the Central Historic Core Conservation area and includes three Grade II-listed buildings. However, the proposed change of use and related works would not negatively impact the conservation area or the listed buildings’ special interest.

Serviced apartments are deemed an appropriate use for the city centre. Although the partial loss of a nightclub contradicts one policy, the applicant’s proposal to maintain a smaller nightclub is acceptable. With conditions on noise and air quality, the serviced apartments should not adversely affect the remaining nightclub, thereby aligning with local and national planning policies and warranting approval.

Similar plans have been set to build above the shops next door to Salvos, meaning that there would be 17 apartments in total.

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