DEVELOPERS say first-time buyers have an opportunity to get a foothold on the York property ladder as they begin converting a former council care home into 29 apartments.

Easingwold-based Caedmon Homes said City of York Council planners had approved fine details of its scheme for Grove House in Penley’s Grove Street, The Groves.

It said the one, two and three-bed apartments, including affordable homes and studios, would range in price from £120,000 to £450,000.

Spokesman Paul Brown said the development would add to the reputation of The Groves as one of the city’s most popular residential areas and he was delighted York council had approved the plans.

“We believe it will be especially attractive to first-time buyers, who are hoping to get a foothold on to the property ladder and to couples or people looking to downsize or retire,” he said.

“The affordability of the homes is a very important element of this project and we have linked up with the Halifax who can offer preferential mortgages.

“Combined with the Government’s Help to Buy initiative, we trust that a number of young professionals will be able to become home-owners for the first time.”

Rufus Salter, also of Caedmon Homes, said the council had originally given consent for 31 apartments, most of which were one bed units.

“This was based on our experience at Foss Place in York, whereby we saw high demand of this type of apartment for first time buyers and investors,” he said.

“We have sought to amend the scheme to provide a lower number of units, 29, but in doing so have amended the mix of unit sizes to respond to changing market demand and local demographics.”

A spokesman said contractors Pacy and Wheatley, of Doncaster, were already on site and the apartments would be put up for sale later this year and available for occupation by next spring.

Grove House was closed by the council in 2016 as part of a major overhaul of older people’s accommodation in the city.