THE next steps have been taken in York's council house building programme with planning permission granted for new homes in Dringhouses.

Two houses and six flats are set to be built on a site which currently houses 15 garages, and builders are due to be site later this year.

The homes will all have two bedrooms, and are among 70 planned new council homes being built across the city. The homes are aimed at encouraging older people to move into smaller homes and free up larger properties for growing families.

The eleven members of the area planning sub committee voted unanimously to approve the plans at a meeting on Thursday, and a council spokesman later confirmed that work is expected to start on site later this year.

Another Dringhouses site has also been earmarked for new council housing. Nearby Newbury Avenue currently houses another row of 28 garages which could be demolished to make way for eight two-bed and one one-bed apartments.

This project has attracted an objection from former council leader Steve Galloway, who has written to the planning department with concerns over the lack of parking provision.

Another planned council house development - or eight two bedroomed flats on Fenwick Street near Rowntree Park, is also awaiting planning permission. Locals have voiced strong opposition to those plans, saying the scheme to build on green space will ruin the street's character and destroy valuable and much-loved parkland.

Elsewhere in the city, work is progressing to build 27 new homes at Beckfield Lane by February 2015, 18 of which will be new council homes and nine for sale privately. Planning permission has also been granted for eight two-bedroomed council flats at Hewley Avenue off Melrosegate.

Planning permission has already been granted to to put 14 flats on the site of the disused Pack of Cards pub in Acomb, and the council has agreed a £1.67 million deal to buy the development from RHW Developers.