AN AGEING accommodation block is to be be pulled down to make room for a new emergency homeless shelter and new council houses.

The city council wants to demolish Ordnance Lane homeless hostel, and replace it with new purpose-built accommodation.

Proposals have been on the cards for some time, and in 2014 the then council administration agreed the new buildings should be "modular" or prefabricated, to speed up the building process. Now a planning application has emerged for the full project, sticking to the modular build plan.

The existing Victorian buildings on the south side of Ordnance Lane were first built to house staff at a nearby military hospital. A design and access statement prepared by WMA Architects says they were adapted from their earlier use but are now unsuitable for their purpose and modern accommodation would be easier to manage.

The current site has 21 bedsits, eight flats and one house. The new plans are for one building with 18 two-bedroom flats, which will become social housing; and another building with 39 flats of one, two or three bedrooms, all to be used as temporary housing.

The planning documents also say: "Employing a contemporary design style enables us to present a bright and cheerful development which will provide temporary refuge for the homeless and will aim to provide a positive environment to promote their wellbeing and recovery.

"The use of materials and the colour palette aims to break down the scale of the three and four storey buildings into recognizable elements of individual homes.

"The elevated walkways which give access to the individual units are designed to be on the South Side of the accommodation blocks and are sheltered by overhanging roofs. These aim to be pleasant areas for access and hopefully positive social interaction of the residents."

Although the Victorian buildings are not listed, views of the nearby Wenlock Terrace from Fulford Road are said to be important to Fulford Conservation Area, and in their planning application the architects say they have designed the new buildings to preserve those views.