YORK College has been given the go-ahead to build a new construction skills centre on its Sim Balk Lane campus.

The city council’s planning sub committee has approved an application to tear down the existing meeting centre which was home to the college’s nursery before it closed in 2012 following the tragic death of three-year-old Lydia Bishop on a slide. It will now be replaced with a construction skills centre.

The college’s deputy principal, Louise Lawrence-Croft, told councillors the new centre would mean construction students learning skills including bricklaying, plastering and joinery. They could be brought back from the current satellite site in Osbaldwick and taught alongside the rest of the student body for the first time in six-and-a-half years.

She said the college had been looking for a way to bring the construction teaching back to the main site, but the closure of the nursery gave them the opportunity to do so as space could not be found elsewhere on the campus.

The former nursery will be demolished to make way for the new centre, but with an extra 2,833 sq m of floor space the new building will take up 40 of the college’s car parking spaces, 14 motorbike spaces, and four disabled spaces.

Committee members raised concerns about the loss of car parking and the problems that could cause residents nearby, but council officials and the college’s representatives argued the car park would still provide ample spaces for students and staff, and the application was approved unanimously.

At the same meeting councillors debated plans for 14 one and two bedroomed flats on the site of the empty Pack Of Cards pub in Acomb.

The pub went on the market in September 2012, and City of York Council has already agreed a deal to buy the £1.7 million development planned for the site as council homes for people over 55 who want to downsize from larger family homes.

The initial plans were altered after objections from neighbours worried about the size of the building, and the revised proposals show the three storey building will step down to two storeys at each end.