A £6 MILLION scheme which would see 56 homes built on the site of a former York school has been backed by the councillor heading up the city’s development blueprint.

Social landlord Yorkshire Housing has applied to turn the Our Lady’s RC Primary School Site in Acomb into houses with City of York Council expected to make a decision next month.

If the plans are approved, 41 of the two and three-bedroom homes will be affordable housing.

Our Lady’s closed last year when it merged with English Martyrs RC Primary School at a new site in Hamilton Drive.

Representatives from the organisation met Coun Dave Merrett, the council’s cabinet member for planning, whose remit covers the authority’s draft Local Plan, which outlines the need for 22,000 new homes across York.

Coun Merrett said: “I welcome Yorkshire Housing’s commitment to bringing forward this proposal for much-needed affordable homes, which ties in with our ambitions for the Local Plan and will also support jobs in the local construction industry. With this year’s Housing Week [which runs this week] addressing poverty, the plans are a timely development.”

Yorkshire Housing’s chairman, Jim Taylor, said many York families were living in unsuitable or overcrowded properties because they could not afford a home.

“Creating more affordable homes is one of the most effective ways to tackle poverty and increase living standards.

“We are looking at opportunities to build more affordable homes in York and hope the development at Our Lady’s will be the first of many new projects in the city over the years to come.”

The land will be bought from the Catholic Diocese of Middlesbrough. Yorkshire Housing said it would be the largest affordable homes scheme on private land in the city for several years.

However, the council’s landscape architect, Esther Priestley, has said most of the trees on the site should be protected as most were likely to be removed.

York Natural Environment Panel has raised concerns about the loss of open space and views across Hob Moor. When the plans were submitted, Westfield resident and ex-council leader Steve Galloway said the scheme could place too much strain on local roads and facilities.