PLANS for a five-storey apartment block to be built in the city centre have been approved, despite fears that some residents will lose their views of York Minster and that the scheme does not include enough affordable housing.

The building, which would have 32 apartments, will be built on the site of the Quick Slide Windows Direct office on Redeness Street.

Planning documents say there will be eight one-bedroom flats and 24 two-bedroom flats. The number of parking spaces at the site will be reduced to 17, with 32 bike spaces.

However residents objecting to the plans said there are not enough parking spaces and one resident added that the height of the building would “obliterate the magnificent views of The Minster.”

The application was discussed at a meeting of the area planning subcommittee, where Cllr Jonny Crawshaw raised concerns about a lack of affordable housing in the block. A report says the scheme was due to provide 20 per cent affordable homes but this was reduced to 10.66 per cent. No affordable homes will actually be built at the site but the developer will instead pay a “commuted sum” to the council to spend on affordable housing.

Cllr Ann Reid said: “I’m most disappointed by the 10.66 per cent of affordable homes. The explanation did rather sound as if the system has been slightly played and that if you can reduce your amount of affordable because you’ve used better quality building materials that doesn’t seem to be quite in the spirit of it.”

Cllr Peter Dew said: "Much as I have loved the views of the Minster from all over the place if that was the only thing we took into account I don’t think we’d ever build anything in York.”

Developers say: “The scheme introduces a high quality addition to the area following on from the student accommodation development to the east.”

The plans were approved.