PUB chain Punch Taverns is set to push its investment in Gillygate beyond the million pound mark as it reveals plans for a 59-bed hostel in the city centre street.

The company, which recently reopened the doors to The Gillygate following a £500,000 refurbishment, has now submitted plans for its neighbouring site Monroes.

The pub, previously named The Speakeasy and The Pink Pony, will be redeveloped to feature a ground floor bar offering food, with three floors of hostel accommodation as the company looks to target "independent world travellers".

A Punch Taverns spokesperson said: "With York being such a popular tourist destination, the opportunity at Monroes lended itself to the development of some form of letting accommodation.

"Having recently invested heavily at the Gillygate we wanted to create a point of difference and saw the independent world traveller as a potential customer.

"We have submitted an application for a hostel type accommodation, but retaining a bar on the ground floor, and creating a small food operation.”

The planning application, due to be determined by City of York Council by October, outlines plans for six triple bed bunks on the ground floor behind the bar, nine triple bed bunks on the first floor and seven double bed bunks on the second floor.

The proposals have already received one objection on the council's planning website, with the unnamed commenter stating: "We object on the grounds of over-development and incompatibility of the pub use and the overnight intensive accommodation in this instance."

Clare Wood of Milson Associates, the agent for Punch Taverns, said: "We promote a quality-oriented, socially responsible and environmentally sound accommodation for young people and families.

"We bear a special responsibility towards our guests, to ensure their safety and security.

"Our main aim is the maintenance of value-for-money services. In spite of that, we wish to respond to increasing quality requirements.

"We wish to offer an innovative programme of services for our guests which is appealing and offers real alternatives when compared to other forms of accommodation.

"The management and control of this hostel will be extremely robust reducing the opportunity for unacceptable behaviour by guests.

"We will be installing an electronic key system to ensure controlled and monitored access to accommodation areas and overall staff will be trained in operating policies to ensure smooth operating eliminating crime."