THE number of homes being built on the former Rowntree factory site off Haxby Road could increase - as the developer seeks to add more one-bedroom flats to the scheme.

Planning permission was granted in 2017 for the former Almond and Cream factory buildings in York to be converted into 258 apartments.

Developer Clarion says work has already begun on building the access road to the site - but progress has “stalled” on the main building as the company seeks to add 21 more homes to the plans.

A planning application has now been submitted to City of York Council to increase the number of homes to 279 - by upping the number of one-bedroom apartments in the scheme from 35 to 118.

Meanwhile the number of two-bed flats would decrease from 206 to 146 and the number of three-bedroom apartments would be reduced from 17 to 15.

The number of parking spaces at the development would increase by one - to 177 for all 279 flats.

A planning statement says the change will mean more affordable homes can be created at the site.

When planning permission was originally granted, one of the conditions was that at least five of the 258 homes should be affordable - or the developer should pay the council a commuted sum if this was not possible.

But the new planning application says Clarion is proposing a different model of affordable housing - with 84 of the apartments offered for shared ownership.

Buyers can get a shared ownership home through a housing association. It involves buying a share of the home and paying rent on the rest.

The planning application says: “The shift from a development of 258 units to 279 is considered to be a positive step and represents a more efficient use of the existing building.

“It will also deliver a more balanced housing mix, with the previous scheme having been heavily weighted towards the provision of two-bed homes.

"It will assist in addressing the notable shortage of affordable housing in York.”

It adds that the extra affordable homes are above the current agreements for the site and will be “pepper potted” throughout the lower floors of the development.

There will be 282 cycle spaces created and a convenience store will also be built on site.

Under the plans, the buildings behind the Grade II-listed Joseph Rowntree Library would be demolished and an extension built to create a community centre and concierge base.

A report adds: “In 1988, Rowntree’s was purchased by Nestle and in 2006 the company announced a major restructuring of its York factory.

“This involved the cessation of production activity within the older factory buildings at the southern end of the site, combined with a significant capital investment in the modern production facilities to the north.”