THIS aerial image reveals the transformation of The Press site in York if 350 new student flats and apartments are built.

A planning application for student accommodation on the two-acre site off Walmgate has been submitted to City of York Council by developers S Harrison Developments Ltd.

If approved, 58 purpose-built student flats and 303 studio apartments would be built in a courtyard, while newspaper staff would move in to smaller new offices in a refurbished building fronting on to Walmgate and Hurst’s Yard.

About 60 people attended recent public exhibitions about the scheme, said Harrison design manager Chris Hale.

He said there were many supportive comments about the design and the re-use of the site, although some neighbours in Rowntree Wharf raised concerns about the height of the development and the possible impact more students would have on the local community.

He said: “We have included all their comments verbatim in our report to the council.

“As far as the height of the buildings is concerned, we have ensured that they are in keeping with the existing buildings on the waterfront, stepping down from the height of the Gray’s Wharf building to the lower height of the Dixon’s Yard development at the western end of the site.

“There will be new landscaped areas between the adjacent sites facing the water. Where the buildings are at their highest, they are furthest away from Rowntree Wharf, and Wormald’s Cut creates a natural divide between the two buildings.”

If the plans are approved, work will start later this year and be completed in time for the new student intake in September 2015.