A YORK pub dating back 150 years is set to be turned into student flats.

Proposals to convert the Castle Howard Ox in The Groves into 16 student apartments are being recommended for approval by City of York Council's planning committee today (Wednesday, October 13).

A report to councillors says the pub was built in the mid 19th century and served the local community until closing in 2017, and it was now considered unviable.

The report by Victoria Bell said the site had been acquired by Star Pubs & Bars in August 2017, with the pub closing on completion of the sale.

She says the firm decided to sell the site in November 2018 and it was marketed online, a sale board was erected, and pub companies, owner occupiers, developers and local builders were targeted.

"The public house was closed for a two reasons: high turnover of tenants; and struggles to compete with the neighbouring Punch Bowl public house," she said.

"The supporting information sets out that the impact of Covid 19 would further exacerbate the viability issues. The public house was advertised for £250,000 freehold. During the marketing, over 80 enquires were received and a total of 12 bids were received.

"None of these bids were to run the site as a public house or restaurant. All were received from developers or investors. The sale was completed in May 2019. Since that time the public house has been closed."

The report said five objections had been received, arguing that student accommodation was not required and the area required something that would bring the community together, with The Groves' four pubs now reduced to one.

But the report concluded: "Officers do not consider that the loss of the pub would result in undue harm to the local community."