PLANS have been submitted to build a treatment centre for young patients with eating disorders at a York mental health facility.

The Retreat in Heslington Road has submitted planning permission to City of York Council to build a unit for about 12 patients in order to address a shortage of beds for young people.

It will treat male and female adolescents aged from 12 - or possibly younger – to 18 who are suffering from anorexia.

The accommodation and day care centre will be built following demolition of an old student accommodation building on the site.

The application explains the increasing numbers of young people being admitted to hospital suffering from eating disorders: “The Royal College of Psychiatrists issued a position statement in August 2013 addressing hospital access, admission and discharge in response to increasing numbers of young people being admitted to adolescent psychiatric units.

“The statement confirms the reliance on hospital admission has led to an increase in the number of “out of area” admissions being referred and admitted to Adolescent inpatient units. The demand for beds increasingly exceeds supply.”

The application outlines plans for 14 en-suite bedrooms and activity rooms, a dining room and staff facilities. Outside there will be a recreational garden, quiet garden area and a therapy garden area.

The application states: “We consider that The Retreat is a wholly suitable location for the new Eating Disorder Unit.

“The detailed design has been carefully considered to accommodate all of the requirements set out in this chapter and the internal layout has been carefully considered.

“We consider the proposal delivers a service which outweighs any harm to the green belt.”

The Retreat offers private treatment, taking NHS patients referred by their local clinical commissioning group.

It currently provides inpatient treatment for patients with conditions including dementia, eating disorders and personality disorder.