Receivers have been called in at the company behind ambitious plans for a word-class tourism attraction showcasing York’s Roman heritage.

Rougier Street Developments had hoped to create a new underground Roman museum – Eboracum – along with an 88-room aparthotel, 153 new apartments and new office space.

The scheme was expected to bring about 500,000 visitors a year to York, create 50 new jobs and boost the city’s visitor economy by £21 million.

READ MORE: Developers behind Roman Quarter dismiss report saying it's unviable | York Press

City of York Council narrowly approved revised plans for the scheme in October last year, despite concerns over its financial viability, something also revealed in an independent report commissioned by the council.

Earlier this year, Rougier Street Developments placed the 0.7 acre site on the market, leading to calls for a review of its planning approval.

York Press: An artist's impression of the Roman Quarter schemeAn artist's impression of the Roman Quarter scheme (Image: Pic supplied)

This includes Northern House, Rougier House, Lendal Arches and Society Bar.

Agents Frank Knight had been seeking offers on a freehold basis with an April 20 deadline.

READ MORE: Massive York development site placed on market - months after scheme won go-ahead

But records at Companies House now reveal that receivers were called in at Rougier Street Developments on May 4.

Rougier Street Developments is the legal owner of Northern House.

North Star was the company promoting the site and helping Rougier Street Developments gain planning approval.

Rougier Street Developments declined to comment when approached by The Press on Friday (May 26).

READ MORE: Roman Quarter: Calls grow for York museum's consent to be 'reviewed'

A spokesperson for North Star said: “We are extremely disappointed and saddened that Rougier Street Developments Ltd have encountered financial difficulty which we believe is due to the challenging economic climate. Our team will continue to monitor the situation.”

Labour’s executive member for planning on City of York Council, Cllr Michael Pavlovic, said the news was “disappointing but unsurprising".

Cllr Pavlovic said: “As was raised by several planning committee members at the time, the Rougier Street proposal had been clearly highlighted as an unviable scheme by the district valuer, on behalf of the council. This was why the then opposition Labour Group later called for a review and for this decision to be reconsidered.

READ MORE: Eboracum - a major Roman Quarter in York - approved by council chiefs

“Redevelopment of this part of the city would be welcome but the major switch from higher paid office jobs to apartments and no affordable housing within this proposal is not something this Labour administration believes is in the city’s best interests.”

He added: “However, people can be reassured that any purchase of the site out of administration will still be subject to the planning consent granted and that any variation would require a full reconsideration by the council’s planning committee.

“Viability of major developments like this should be something all councils, including York, takes into consideration. We will encourage and support the regeneration of the city but want to see obvious public benefit and an overall positive contribution to our city when plans do come forward."

Rougier Street Developments had partnered with the York Archaeological Trust, which also runs the Jorvik Centre, for the scheme.

David Jennings, chief executive officer of York Archaeological Trust, told the Press: "This is disappointing, and the future of Northern House is now in the hands of the administrators. It is possible that its new owner will want to pursue the current scheme for the wider site with the owner of Rougier House and Society and we would still want to be involved.”

York Central MP Rachael Maskell said: “It is a concern that this company has been placed into administration.

"The redevelopment of Rougier Street has been controversial, failing to get planning permission approved initially and then having approval granted by a chair’s casting vote.

"This development will continue to attract negative comments and criticism as long as there is a lack of clarity over the benefits to the city, namely, a lack of affordable housing and whether the finances add-up to be able to deliver an archaeological dig and Roman museum as part of the whole scheme.”

Comment has also been sought from Knight Frank.