RESIDENTS living near the former Terry's chocolate factory in York have raised growing concerns about the size and scale of apartment blocks now being planned for the site.

They have also told of their dismay at the scrapping of original proposals to build a new medical centre, nursing home and nursery, and replace them with the blocks of flats up to six storeys high.

Detailed plans for the second phase of the re-development of the site off Bishopthorpe Road were recently submitted to City of York Council by David Wilson Homes Yorkshire East.

Tina Fowler, who collected 3,500 signatures for a petition calling for trees along the boundary to be saved to mitigate the visual impact, said it had now been agreed that such vegetation would be retained, and she welcomed this move.

But she said she and many other local residents were concerned that the new apartment blocks would be overbearing, and were also worried about the disappearance of the community facilities, with existing doctors' surgeries in the area already very full.

Other local residents, such as Michael Ruane, of Bishopthorpe Road, have also written to The Press to say the proposed blocks are out of scale with housing in the area.

A council spokeswoman confirmed that the new proposal allowed for a number of five and six storey apartment blocks fronting onto Bishopthorpe Road, with a part seven-storey block at the junction of Bishopthorpe Road and Campleshon Road.

"In terms of the range of uses specified in the Outline Permission, David Wilson Homes have previously indicated that it would not now prove viable to provide on the previously indicated basis."

She added that subject to the receipt of amended plans, the proposal was likely to be considered at the main planning committee next month.

The firm's development director Peter Morris said that when it bought the site, the scheme included a number of potential uses which had been proposed in 2009.

"As time has moved on, the demand for new homes for local people has increased and it made sense to review what development would now be most appropriate," he said.

"That is why we have put in a fresh application for the remainder of our site. It makes sense to focus the site on meeting that growing housing need and, as quality house builders, that’s what we are best at doing." He claimed the proposal would complement adjacent development.