A MAJOR student flats scheme has been approved for York.

A revised scheme for 303 units was approved by the planning committee of City of York Council when it met last night.

York-based property and development company, S Harrison, gained approval for a 3-5 storey building on the site of the former Alton Cars on James Street in York.

The company resubmitted their plans and made changes, such as having fewer flats and introducing a pocket park, following opposition their earlier scheme was 'over development' of the site.

However, the developers believe their scheme will meet a need for student flats in the city.

Gavin Douglas, from S Harrison, said: “It’s a positive outcome that will help address the huge demand for student accommodation in the city, of which there is a chronic shortage. We look forward to delivering the scheme soon.”

S Harrison scaled the scheme down and it now includes 231 study bedrooms in clusters of up to eight, which have shared living and dining areas. There will also be 72 individual studio rooms.

The development will also include communal areas on the ground floor, as well as soft landscaped areas, including a public pocket park on the site’s southeast corner.

Gavin continued: “Our design will also deliver much-needed public open space in this area of the city, with more than 200m2 of green space.

"The pocket park will be a great addition to this part of York and will be a usable outside space for all. The South facing park will benefit from natural sunlight and will be an attractive visual addition to the streetscape on Lawrence Street - a primary route into the city.”

In addition to the pocket park, S Harrison will be delivering improved cycle infrastructure on James Street.

The developer will create a 3.5m wide shared pedestrian and cycle lane along the site’s eastern boundary.

The work will see the existing footpath widened and the kerb radius modified at the junction of James Street with Brinkworth Terrace and Elvington Terrace, where new segregated raised priority crossings will be installed.

Gavin added: “Our work will improve safety for all cyclists and pedestrians in the area, whilst also slowing traffic at the approach to the junctions from both sides – something that highways officers have welcomed.”

He concluded: “Schemes like this not only regenerate and deliver a viable new future for a redundant site, but they bring added value to the local community by investing in the local infrastructure. Students provide a massive boost to the economy of this city, supporting jobs and creating a vibrant community.

“Specifically designed for the booming student sector in York, these new, modern, energy efficient spaces are within close proximity of the universities and an ideal home for students wanting to live in this popular part of the city.”