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Fresh homes plan for ex-hostel site in Water Lane, Clifton
FRESH plans have finally been drawn up for new homes on a derelict York site which once housed a women’s hostel – eight years after a previous scheme was scrapped.
The proposals would see 16 apartments and seven houses built on land once occupied by the YWCA hostel in the Clifton area. City of York Council is expected to decide before the end of the year whether they can go ahead.
The Water Lane building was bulldozed about a decade ago after being bought by Lancashire-based charity Selhal Community Housing Limited, which provides social housing for people on low incomes. However, the site has been disused ever since.
A previous scheme for 21 apartments being submitted in 2004 but later being withdrawn.
Before that, an application had been submitted for an extra care health unit with 37 spaces on the site, but this also did not proceed. If approved, the two-bedroom flats would be in a three-storey block, alongside three-bedroom houses.
The applicants had originally looked at creating 21 apartments while drawing up the scheme, but council planning officers said this would be too much and would lead to an “over-dominant, bulky and incongruous building”.
The proposals have since been modified to include five fewer flats.
When the 40-year-old hostel was demolished, Selhal said only a handful of people were still living there - despite it having 124 beds - and arrangements were made to find them alternative accommodation. The organisation said at the time that repairs and changes would cost £2 million, leading to the decision being made to knock it down and redevelop the land.
The new scheme is intended to provide affordable housing for the area, but North Yorkshire Police has raised some crime concerns.
The force said in a statement to council planners that the hostel had suffered from “chronic” vehicle crime and antisocial behaviour before it was demolished, and work had to be done to prevent criminals using a nearby footpath, close to the parking spaces planned for the site, as an “escape route”.
However, it praised the inclusion of proposals to fit gates to alleyways at the back of the development.