A PUBLIC toilet block on the edge of York city centre could be about to get a new lease of life - as a cafe.

Plans have emerged to convert part of the loo block on Clarence Street into a cafe.

An application submitted by Healthmatic - the company that runs and maintains public conveniences - has asked for planning permission to alter the building in Union Terrace Car Park, leaving around half as toilet cubicles and a changing place, but converting the other half into a small cafe.

Plans show it wants to find a new use for a large unused male WC area and convert the space into a cafe with outside seating and planting.

The application form shows the owners are proposing a cafe with room for 30 customers, serving hot and cold food including breakfasts and cooked breakfasts, sandwiches, toasted sandwiches, soups, cakes, hot and cold drinks and snacks. Food will be consumed on the premises, but sandwiches and snacks will also be on offer to take away, the document adds.

However, the “changing place” and unisex WC cubicles would stay in place in the corner of the Union Terrace coach park.

If it goes ahead, the Clarence Street conveniences will follow the Bootham Bar facilities by partly being converted into a cafe.

The car park at Union Terrace is used by coach companies bringing tourists to the city.

Kay Hyde, head of communications at Make It York, said the new facility could be a boost for the thousands of visitors who arrive that way. She added: “We’ve seen a successful conversion in Bootham Bar. Visitors leaving York after a day trip here by coach often have time to wait before their departure. A new café facility, combined with good public conveniences, could prove popular.”

The car park was the centre of a controversy in 2011, when the city council planned to sell it off to York St John University. A public outcry followed, and the university withdrew its offer to buy the site.