THE Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) has applied to build a five-storey block of offices and apartments - right at the heart of York's Hungate development.

An application has been submitted to City of York Council for outline planning permission for a five-storey building on the corner of Carmelite Street and Garden Place.

The development would consist of one commercial floor, and four domestic floors above, containing 39 apartments, mostly one-bedroom each.

The site is within the boundaries of the major Hungate development, but is not part of it.

Sue Everard, JRF's spokeswoman, said: "Some time ago, we received planning permission, before the Hungate plan was developed, and we received planning permission for 40,000 square feet of office accommodation, and that has lapsed.

"We have put in for outline planning permission for development on the site."

If given the go-ahead, the development is likely to be named Hiram Place, a name used on the site in the past.

A design statement submitted with the application said: "Records from the mid-19th century indicate that the site use was primarily residential and likely terraced style housing. The site, in common with the surrounding areas of the Hungate development, was redeveloped during the 1930's to include housing, depots and other such light industrial uses.

"This was at the expense of residential accommodation, including the entire Hiram Place and parallel unnamed road.

"Records between 1937 and 1962 appear to show a further degree of development on the site. In view of the historical connection and the individuality associated with the name, Hiram Place may be suggested as a title for the development.

"The site is well served by public transport (bus) links from The Stonebow and within five minutes' easy walking of the town centre, which are all obvious positive characteristics for prospective residents and staff."

The statement said the building would be of a modern design, stating: "The development is a clean and honest 2007 building, of mixed use occupancy, and the design should convey this."

Last month, The Press reported that work on the first phase of the massive £150 million Hungate development could start early this year, subject to planners' consent. The work would involve 163 apartments and town houses, car parking, open space and landscaping.

It is due to be considered by a planning committee shortly, and Phil Darcy, managing director of Crosby Homes (Yorkshire) Ltd, and spokesman for Hungate (York) regeneration Ltd said work would begin shortly after approval being granted.