FRESH planning applications will go in shortly for York’s biggest housing development on the former British Sugar factory site.

But the company says there are no material changes to its original proposals for 1,100 homes which have previously been approved, following a public inquiry.

A spokesman said the applications were simply being made to ensure that the necessary permissions and consents remained in place so British Sugar could progress with the redevelopment of the site.

The news comes 18 months after the Government gave the final go-ahead for the massive scheme for the site off Boroughbridge Road.

The permission came with a condition that as few as 33 homes had to be affordable under a compromise deal hammered out between the company and City of York Council because of the cost of remediating the badly contaminated land.

The affordable housing deal was only struck after a public inquiry had started in early 2018 into non-determination of the scheme by the council.

The authority said after the permission was granted that considerable additional affordable housing was likely - while not guaranteed - to be provided later in the scheme, based on a fresh assessment at each phase.

It said it welcomed the decision by the Secretary of State to set the new conditions, which would help to unlock the land site and other unused brownfield sites in the city.

British Sugar said then that it was "looking forward to continuing the necessary efforts to ensure that the new homes and community facilities at the site can be delivered at the earliest opportunity".

Now a British Sugar spokesman has said in an update issued to The Press: “British Sugar has already secured planning permissions for the comprehensive redevelopment of the former British Sugar site on Boroughbridge Road, to provide new homes, community facilities and public open space.

“Since these permissions were secured, British Sugar has been undertaking further site investigation work and further detailed design work in order to progress the redevelopment of the site.

“Site enabling works and vegetation clearance, in preparation for development works, has also been completed recently.

“At the current time, due to Covid-19, only essential works for security and site maintenance purposes are being undertaken on site.

“In the coming weeks, British Sugar will be submitting a number of further planning reports and applications to the council.

“These submissions and applications are being made in order to ensure that the necessary permissions and consents remain in place to progress with the redevelopment of the site.

“There are no material changes to the proposals that have been previously approved."

The spokesman added: “British Sugar remains committed to the sustainable redevelopment of the site to provide new homes, community facilities and green spaces.”