A CHARITABLE Trust has received planning approval to improve the B&B facilities of a historic York building to help support the UK’s oldest living convent.

The Congregation of Jesus Charitable Trust sought to reconfigure the third floor of The Bar Convent, 15-17 Blossom Street, to provide four en-suite bathrooms in what were originally the Sisters bedrooms.

The original plans had involved removing some walls in the Grade II-listed building. But after discussions with council conservation staff, they were amewnded to incorporate the use of ‘bathroom pods’ in two of the four bedrooms to help minimise the disturbance to historical features.

The application said the current B&B business provides much income needed to maintain the buildings and support the community of sisters. The en-suite bedrooms would also bring the facilities to the level of what is expected today.

The council planners agreed and concluded: “It is considered the proposed changes are justified and would allow the business to offer market standard accommodation, securing the long-term future of the building. Therefore, approval is recommended subject to detailed condition.”

Similar plans are also under consideration for other parts of the building.