A NEW £13 million centre for mental health patients could be built in York if planners back the proposal.

The state-of-the-art facility would have 46 beds across three wards within the grounds of The Retreat, and secure more than 160 healthcare and associated jobs, say the developers.

Schoen Clinic, which took over operations at The Retreat's eating disorder and personality disorder units in January, has lodged a planning application for the scheme, which it says would spend more than £400,000 per year in York.

The application also includes the regeneration of an existing brick walled garden for outdoor therapy use, and improved access.

Schoen Clinic says the the investment would secure the long-term provision of mental health services at the historic site.

This specialised facility would meet a unique healthcare need in York, treating patients with complex mental health diagnoses associated with eating and personality disorders across three units, it added.

It would primarily serve the local community and expand the two existing services currently in operation.

The proposal would incorporate about 3,500 sqm of floor space within a three-storey building, in the northern section of the 2.46-acre Retreat estate.

Options are currently being explored for an additional third mental health service, with building plans designed to accommodate a range of mental health diagnoses.

Schoen Clinic and Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV), which provide mental health and learning disabilities services, say the facility would provide highly specialised care through services which are not in competition or overlap with the new Foss Park Hospital.

Christopher Schoen, a member of the Schoen Clinic Administrative Board, said:

“York has faced significant challenges in the provision of mental health services, so Schoen Clinic is pleased to propose a multi-million-pound investment to assist in meeting the local healthcare need.”

In January, The Retreat transferred ownership of select healthcare operations and services to Schoen Clinic.