PLANS are about to be unveiled showing how a historic York convent could be converted into 21st century student accommodation.

St Joseph's Convent was home to a closed order of Poor Clare Colettines for 140 years, until its closure was announced in October last year.

Now part of the land has been acquired by Vita Student Management, and the company is holding a community consultation event to show people their plans for the site.

Managing Director Gavin Duncan said: “Vita Student is passionate about creating stylish accommodation that’s also comfortable and practical, as well as providing an exceptional experience to its customers.

The St. Joseph’s site represents an opportunity to deliver a wonderful residence to those students who have chosen York as their home while they pursue their academic studies.

We believe that our proposed residence is truly different to what is currently offered in York and we welcome feedback from the public ahead of the submission of a formal planning application to the City of York Council.”

The convent occupied a Grade II listed building on a five acre plot of land just south of the city walls on Lawrence Street. It once housed as many as 40 nuns behind the 15ft brick wall, but numbers had fallen to just eight before the closure.

It was founded in 1864 by a group of sisters who came to York from a convent in Bruges, and the buildings were designed by a local Roman Catholic ecclesiastical architect, George Goldie, and were built between 1870 and 1875.

The company already has student accommodation sites in Bristol, Exeter, Liverpool, Manchester and Southampton - providing single or double occupancy studio apartments with shared kitchens and communal areas.

The consultation will take place on Thursday, September 4 from 2-8pm at Tang Hall Working Men’s Club, 25 Hull Road, York, YO10 3JL.

Members of the development and management team will be available to answer questions and after the event the full consultation display will be online at