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Student flats plan for former Reg Vardy garage site in Lawrence Street
REVISED plans to turn a former car showroom in York into hundreds of student flats could be approved this week.
Black Lion Ltd wants to build three buildings containing 220 flats on the Lawrence Street site where the Reg Vardy garage once operated.
The site had become a regular target for vandals and squatters in recent years and City of York planners have recommended the plans be approved, a year after the authority backed the developers’ original scheme.
The new application was submitted after architects looked again at the design of the development, which was previously intended to include 244 flats.
The new plans will be debated by the council’s planning committee on Thursday. In a written report, council planner Diane Cragg said five objections had been raised over issues including the impact of the development on neighbouring residents, noise, antisocial behaviour and the “takeover” of the area as a “student community”.
She said: “The scheme will provide much-needed accommodation to meet both existing and future student requirements and will directly assist in releasing existing market housing to meet affordable housing needs, particularly in the Fishergate ward.”
At the same meeting, councillors will be advised to approve plans for 55 new homes on the former Our Lady’s RC School site in Acomb.
A decision on Yorkshire Housing’s £6 million plans had been due last month, but the planning committee deferred it over concerns about play areas being provided and the “sustainability” of the project.
The developer has agreed to provide a play-space area, meaning one fewer home being built, but has said reaching the level of sustainability credentials some councillors requested would cost an extra £200,000 and make the scheme “economically unviable”.
The scheme, if approved, will see 41 of the homes being affordable housing, although fears have also been raised about its impact on Hob Moor and local roads and services. Yorkshire Housing has said the scheme will reduce overcrowding and the number of York families living in unsuitable accommodation.
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