DEVELOPERS have unveiled fresh plans to build dozens of student flats above a row of shops near the University of York.

Previous plans for 16 flats on the first floor of Matmer House, in Hull Road, and 30 more on two new floors, were dropped earlier this year following criticism from nearby residents.

However, a second planning application for the site has now been submitted to City of York Council and the scheme now has 47 flats – one more than the initial proposals. The shop units on the ground floor would be extended at the front and rear of the building under the proposals.

The original plans were submitted in April, but these were withdrawn in July following opposition from the Hull Road planning panel, York architect Matthew Laverack and the Alan Bott Centre, a multiple sclerosis charity based off nearby Melrosegate.

Bench Mark Designs, the agents for the scheme, said demand for student accommodation in York meant family homes were being turned into houses in multiple occupation and said “intense student zones” were being created.

The increase in student housing in areas such as Osbaldwick and Badger Hill has created anger among residents in recent years.

“Students are an asset to York, and with an expanding university the demand for high-quality accommodation is vital,” said a planning statement by the firm.

The statemtent said increased student numbers had meant more demand for for purpose-built apartments, as reflected in recent developments, but said supply still fell well short of the student demand for off-campus accommodation.

Bench Mark said Matmer House, in its current 1960s form, had “no architectural merit” and its shops had poor storage and delivery access, adding: “The building as a whole is in need of major renovation.”

It said the design of the scheme had been “drastically” changed since the withdrawal of the original application and would not harm the appearance of the area.