THE old gasworks site in Heworth was in the news last week.

Moda Living, one of the companies behind plans to redevelop it, said its 'build to rent' properties on the site would offer a new way of living: secure, family-friendly tenancies; shared communal spaces, including lounges, a library and flexible work spaces; clubs and classes to create 'open and engaged communities'; and regular health checks, mindfulness and stress management sessions.

All of that would be covered by a single monthly rental payment, a Moda spokesman said.

The idea is to build a sense of community and reduce loneliness. And for anyone who was at the launch of this year's York Design Awards back in January, it was exactly the approach being advocated by award-winning architect Stephen Witherford, the keynote speaker at the launch.

Loneliness and isolation were becoming features of modern life, Mr Witherford said. And the more we crammed people together in high-density modern housing, the lonelier people got. We needed instead to create open, interactive communities with shared communal spaces that were on a human scale, he said.

So well done to Moda to for apparently trying to do just that.

Plans for 700 new homes on the former gasworks site (450 of them owned and managed by Moda, a Harrogate-based build to rent company) were submitted in May. A decision is still awaited.

When work does begin, one of the first things that will have to happen is that the huge gas holder which still stands - in its deflated state - on the site will have to be demolished.

That gas holder has dominated the area for many years - especially when it was full. Since it is a landmark that will soon be no more, we thought it was worth digging out a few old photographs. And dramatic photographs they are, too - particularly the 1979 one showing the gas holder looming large behind caravans parked in the Heworth Green car park.

We have also included a few other quirky photos from the Heworth area of York that caught our eye. Enjoy...

1. January 2, 1979: Caravans on Heworth Green car park with the gas holder looming behind

2: An aerial view of York taken from a balloon in April 1983. It shows Layerthorpe and Heworth Green, with the gasworks site and the gas holder prominent

3. Heworth in May, 1991. 'The lowering of the gasometer gas storage container reveals the East End of York Minster,' says the original caption to this photograph

4: Another aerial view of Heworth showing the gasworks site. This picture was taken on November 24, 1988

5. A construction site at Melrosegate (possibly part of the Tang Hall Beck flood alleviation scheme) on April 29, 1989

6. A lorry turning into Mill Lane from Malton Road in Heworth on August 26, 1970. 'Local resident George Hilton was launching a petition to ban heavy lorries from the narrow street or make it one-way,' says the original caption to this photo

7. A stolen car that had crashed into roadworks in Heworth on November 16, 1983.

Stephen Lewis