A REHABILITATION centre for people who have suffered brain and spinal injuries could expand to create room for more patients.

A planning application has been submitted for Woodlands Neurological Centre, off Hull Road near the David Lloyd gym, to build an extension on land to the south of the site.

In April, controversial plans for 69 new homes to be built on land next to the respite centre, off Windmill Lane, were approved.

The project to extend the specialist centre would create 12 new bedrooms, linked to the existing building with a glass-covered walkway. More parking spaces would also be created.

The planning application, submitted by Christchurch Group which runs the centre, says: “The growth in demand for beds in this type of centre is such that at present the building is at capacity and there is an increased recruitment for specialist spinal service of which there are only four bedrooms presently at Woodlands.”

The extension would be 715 m2 and, as well as extra bedrooms, there will be a visitor area, bathrooms and a nurses station.

Documents say the facility is “vitally important”, not just for York but for patients across the north of England, and it is used by both the NHS and private sector.

People suffering from conditions including Huntington’s disease, multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease and Parkinson’s disease are supported at the centre.

The original building opened in 1991 as a respite centre for people with multiple sclerosis and Christchurch Group took over the facility in 2012.

The planning application says: “The centre is an idyllic place for rehabilitation and respite care, being screened from adjacent land and buildings to the west, north and south by a belt of trees and to the east by open playing fields that form part of the David Lloyd complex.”

There are currently 24 en-suite bedrooms at the facility and parking for 40 cars, which will increase to 64 spaces if the plans get the go-ahead.

The extension would match the existing building to “create a joint-less appearance”.

Some fir trees would have to be removed to make way for the unit but documents say the boundary of the site would stay the same.

The new bedrooms would overlook the garden, where there is a pond, lawn, gazebo and glasshouse.

The applicants say: “This proposal is an extension to an already established medical facility that, because of demand, requires additional floor space as described.

“The site has the capacity to cope with this additional build and car park requirements, and will not affect any surrounding properties or their amenity space.

“This proposal does not only improve the specialist treatment in the York area but also the north of England.”