AN award-winning local developer is set to convert listed buildings at a former convent site in York.

Northminster Ltd has announced plans to convert two historic, Grade II-listed buildings at the former St Joseph's Convent, Lawrence Street, into modern apartments and has appointed Elvington Park Building Services Ltd to deliver the scheme.

The conversion has been designed by LHL Group, York, and Mesh Architects of Leeds.

The scheme, backed by City of York planners last August, will transform The Lodge and The Extern House, two Gothic Revival buildings built in the latter part of the 19th century.

The buildings have stood empty for six years.

The Lodge will be converted into four apartments, with a two-bedroom house extension to the original building, while The Extern House will be turned into five apartments.

Northminster is also planning to build four one-bedroom houses, to be known as The Scullery, The Refectory, Garden House and Orchard House, on adjacent disused land within the former convent.

The site will be enclosed by an 11ft wall that was part of the original Victorian development.

St Joseph's was founded in 1864 by a group of sisters who came from a convent in Bruges and the buildings were designed by local Roman Catholic ecclesiastical architect, George Goldie.

The convent was home to 40 Poor Clare Colettine nuns, an enclosed order, during the 1940s, but numbers slowly declined and it became unmanageable for the eight remaining nuns, due to escalating costs.

In 2012, they moved to a smaller property on the outskirts of York to allow the site to be redeveloped.

Northminster development surveyor, Alastair Gill, said: "It is a huge privilege to be working on such beautiful, historic buildings in York and our scheme aims to retain as much as we can of the serene and communal nature of the original properties.

"We are excited to be providing high-quality, unique homes for people seeking something different and to have appointed Elvington Park Building Services Ltd for such an important scheme."

Family-owned Elvington Park was founded in 2009 and has worked on a number of Grade I and Grade II properties, including those which have period or ecclesiastical features.