A NINE-YEAR wait for new homes to be built on empty land in the centre of York could be nearing an end after fresh plans for housing were unveiled.

Persimmon Homes Yorkshire planned a 240-apartment development on part of the city’s Barbican site after proposals for a huge complex, also including a hotel and the refurbishment of the Barbican centre, were approved in 2004. However, it then mothballed the housing scheme because of the economic crisis.

The York-based developer has now submitted proposals for 187 apartments, which would be built on land which was once the now-demolished Barbican swimming pool’s car park and a bowling green. It follows a public exhibition at the nearby Melbourne Centre earlier this year where residents were asked to give their opinions on the scheme.

City of York Council – whose draft Local Plan earmarks building 22,000 new homes throughout the city by 2030 – is expected to make a decision on Persimmon’s application in October.

A neighbouring portion of the site already has planning permission for a 165-bedroom hotel which would sit between the homes and the Barbican centre, under a separate scheme.

A statement sent to the council by Persimmon’s architects, Studio Map Limited, said the development would include 106 car-parking spaces and two areas of open space to the north and east of the site, along with a cycle path.

A four- and five-storey building would have 175 flats, with another three-storey building containing the other 12.

The architects’ statement said: “The proposed development will form an important gateway and landmark building at the junction of Paragon Street and Barbican Road, where the existing junction forms a poor interface with the city beyond.

“The proposals will create new urban green space and form a new vista towards the city wall and neighbouring properties on Barbican Road. There will be no loss of features contributing to the quality of the local environment, and actually the proposals provide new features which will do.”

The architects said the size and height of the development was less than the scheme originally approved in 2004 and would not harm the appearance and setting of the Bar Walls. After buying the Barbican site from the council for £6.385 million, Barbican Venture (York) Ltd subsold sections of the land to other companies, including Persimmon.