FRESH plans have been unveiled for student flats on the site of a former car showroom in York.

Developers Black Lion Ltd won permission last year to create 244 flats at the Reg Vardy garage site on Lawrence Street, which had become a favourite spot for squatters, but the company has now submitted fresh proposals almost 12 months on and said the scheme will help to free up family housing in the area.

The new scheme, which has been sent to City of York Council, now includes 221 flats in three blocks which will mostly be for post-graduate students at the University of York but could also be used by other organisations.

The architects for the scheme, Kilmartin Plowman and Partners, said its layout had been looked at since planning approval was granted last November and the revised plans would prevent any impact on nearby homes.

A previous application for 282 flats at the site was turned down in 2010, with local residents and businesses in the Lawrence Street area complaining about the state of the former garage site after squatters occupied the land and it became a target for vandalism.

In March last year, it was also the scene of an attack which left a man in a coma with serious head injuries.

Black Lion’s proposals which were approved last year attracted 47 objections over its height, loss of privacy and potential noise and antisocial behaviour, although they were supported by the University of York Students’ Union.

A statement sent to the council by consultants Iain Bath Planning said: “The proposal seeks to provide bespoke student accommodation in an area of the city where student rented accommodation forms a high proportion of households in the Fishergate ward.”