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The district is near York Hospital and the city ring road. In the 19th century the area was populated by poor working-class inhabitants of long rows of back-to-back houses. It consists largely of close-knit terraces, the majority of which date from the first two decades of the 20th century. In the early 1960s, a large number of very small terraced houses were demolished to make way for flats and maisonettes which were built between Garden Street, Penleys Grove/Townend Street and Lowther Street; this area has a residents' association.
The Groves area contains a mixture of privately owned and rented properties, and council housing, and contains a number of students from York St John University. Lowther Street is the main area for local shopping, with an Indian restaurant and takeaway, Chinese takeaway, a small supermarket and a shop specialising in Polish food. In Penleys Grove Street there is a grocery shop.
Lowther Street is a busy route for traffic during rush hours, although a one-way system reduces traffic on this and Penleys Grove/Townend Street.
There is a police team which works with the community. In 2015 a ban on drinking alcohol on the streets was introduced to reduce anti-social behavior in the Groves. The area crime rate is one of the lowest in York.
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- "4 photos from the 1960s Groves demolitions in York". The Press. 20 January 2016. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
- "Map of the area covered by The Groves resident association" (pdf). City of York Council. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
- "Park Grove Primary School". Department of Education. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
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- Prest, Victoria (18 November 2015). "Street drinking ban for the Groves". The Press. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
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