DEVELOPERS have submitted revised plans for 72 extra-care apartments in York after a planning inspector rejected a previous proposal as ‘alien’ in appearance.

The planning inspector's appeal decision also said the original scheme had ‘little active street frontage’ and appeared ‘enclosed’ and ‘inward looking’ and therefore ‘discordant’ to nearby properties.

Now, McCarthy & Stone Retirement Lifestyles and Henry Boot Developments Ltd say they have made design changes for the scheme at the Chocolate Works Resdient Parking site off Bishopthorpe Road to meet these objections.

The latest plans feature 72 apartments, associated community facilities and a decked car park to meet a need for the frail elderly, typically aged over 70, a very specialised form of “Extra Care” accommodation, which they say is currently limited in York.

McCarthy Stone and Henry Boot Developments lose appeal for York flats

A mix of one and two-bed Retirement Living Plus apartments are proposed on the brownfield site presently used as a car park and storage compound.

York Press: The view from Bishopthorpe RoadThe view from Bishopthorpe Road (Image: Supplied)

The application said: “A communal bistro restaurant, homeowner’s lounge, guest suite and house manager’s office are provided for the residents’ use.

“The entire development will be set in privately maintained grounds with a community ethos which comes in the form of multiple landscaped gardens at various locations around the site inter linked with existing mature trees.

“This offers independent living with very low maintenance, in a safe and secure environment.“

The developers last year submitted their appeal as City of York Council had not determined the application within the prescribed timeframe, the latest application explained.

Now, the revised plans promise “a high-quality development that would positively contribute to meeting demonstrable local housing needs” and present “an opportunity to improve the domestic street scene along Bishopthorpe Road".

York Press: The earlier plan refused on appealThe earlier plan refused on appeal (Image: Supplied)

The proposals seek a new building of up to four-storeys at the northern edge of the appeal site and associated residents’ parking, with the decked parking at its southern edge.

Planning documents say the proposals when viewed from the street will look mostly two-storey, with a three-storey element set back behind the main façade.

The massing of the western elevation has been changed to create a “symmetrical” look and a “strong frontage to Bishopthorpe Road which emphasises the entrance".

Part of the west of the building has been reconfigured to provide a wider pedestrian access from Bishopthorpe Road, rather than the internal courtyard.

Together, the changes establish “a more positive façade” and have “significantly improved the building’s active street frontage".

But looking from above, there is little or no change.

In conclusion, the application says the design changes create a scheme that is “more balanced and symmetrical” and “better reflects local character".

It is “more appropriate and sympathetic” to the area and produces “an enhanced gateway into the city”, which also “defines the heritage significance” of nearby buildings and the adjacent Conservation Area, it added.