PART of a former chocolate factory is being transformed into a major new homes development.

Work has finally started on the former site of Terry’s of York, by the city’s racecourse, which has been derelict since 2005.

The first phase of the scheme on land off Campleshon Road involves 57 houses, 29 apartments and a convenience store, which will be used as a sales office while the site is being developed. The new homes are expected to go on sale in the spring.

The managing director of York-based developer David Wilson Homes, Paul Newman, said it was no ordinary housing scheme because the site held a special place in York’s history.

“We are determined to make a landmark statement which respects the heritage and reflects the architectural legacy of the former Terry’s Chocolate Works.,” he said.

“What we are delivering will enhance the neighbourhood and we’re delighted to get started on a development which will help meet the city’s urgent housing need.”