AN historic York building which has lain empty and derelict for years could be transformed through a £10 million redevelopment, that would also lead to the closure of a city pub.

The former Lawrence Street Working Men’s Club was once home to mental health care pioneer Samual Tuke, but has been empty for nearly a decade falling into disrepair and becoming an eyesore.

Now York-based developers S Harrison have drawn up a plan to convert the 18th Century building, and the neighbouring Tam O’Shanter pub into a 115 bed student accommodation complex.

>>> Pub regulars hit out at closure plan

The company’s group design manager Chris Hale said: “For so long, this building has had no viable future. Now, working with city architects CSP we have designed a scheme which will retain and restore the existing main listed building and its key architectural features.

“The best way of preserving older buildings is to find viable new uses for them. Our scheme does just that for a listed building which otherwise has no viable future and will only fall into further, possibly terminal disrepair.”

A planning application has been submitted to City of York Council and is awaiting validation before it goes before the planning committee early in the New Year.

York Press:

The Tam O'Shanter would close under the plans

If it is approved, building would start immediately and the complex would be ready for students arriving in autumn 2017.

The Tam O’Shanter would close to make way for the development, the company has confirmed.

The pub manager was this afternoon unavailable for comment.

Mr Hale said: “We plan to remove some later additions so that the frontage onto Lawrence Street, currently blighting the streetscape, returns to its original splendour.

“To the rear of the main house, we plan to strip away the unsightly extension to the original house and remove the dilapidated sheds and outhouses. In their place we will build new accommodation, establishing a new streetscape on Brinkworth Terrace and creating an attractive courtyard area.”

The pub will be converted into leisure and workspace facilities for the students, and there will be controlled gated access to the complex of one, two, three and five bedroomed accommodation.

The Tam O'Shanter was originally called the St Nicholas, and has been a pub for at least 183 years, with its first recorded mention being in 1832. It had gained its current name by 1854, according to Hugh Murray's Directory of York Pubs.

Regulars have hit out at its proposed closure.

The site is close to the 600-bed student development being built on the former St Joseph’s Convent site, and will add to the 648-bed Student Castle development on the former Press site in Walmgate, and 220 student studio flats on the old Reg Vardy garage site in Lawrence Street; as well as the established Boulevard student development in Hull Road, and the York St John University housing on Navigation Road.