THE companies behind a redevelopment scheme at a former York school have apologised to buyers who face a further delay before they can move in to their new homes on the site.

Building and conversion work on the former Shipton Street school site is not yet complete and owners will not be able to move in until March. The original finish date was set for November last year and has been postponed several times.

A spokesman for developers Rushbond PLC and Advent Developments blamed the delays on construction problems at the historic building, and apologised to frustrated buyers.

The spokesman said: “Bootham Green has seen the long awaited and complex regeneration of a much-loved local landmark. We are disappointed that the scheme is behind schedule due to the sensitive nature of restoring a listed building such as this and some contractor issues.

“We continue to do everything possible to support our contractors as they work to complete the development without compromising on the quality and high standards that are a key part of this scheme and we expect to welcome our first occupiers next month.

“We sincerely apologise to all our purchasers for the delay and although some are understandably disappointed, most remain hugely supportive and are confident that we will deliver a truly exceptional standout scheme.”

The developers have also announced the school’s 100 year long history and its sympathetic conversion will be commemorated at the site with a York Civic Trust Blue Plaque and said they hoped it would become a benchmark for other developments in York.

All 38 of the homes at the project - which includes townhouses and converted homes in the Grade II listed structure - have already been sold. The school closed in 2002 and lay empty for about 10 years before work started on the current scheme, which has won support from local residents and councillors.

Esh Construction one of the main contractors on the scheme, said the 14 new build houses in the former playground had all been completed before Christmas, but said fitting energy efficient technology in the former school building had taken extra time.

A spokesman said: “We work to the high standards of quality specification for both our clients and their customers and on occasion delays such as have occurred in this case, take place.

"We are working closely with all other parties involved in this excellent development to ensure that we provide beautiful and reliable homes which will be enjoyed by their new owners for many years to come.”