HUNDREDS of student flats are proposed in a York city centre car yard.

London-based Danehurst Developments Ltd has submitted plans for a 4-5 storey to demolish the existing Mazda garage and build a 4-5 storey block of student flats.

If approved, the 0.3ha site at 17-27 Layerthorpe, would feature 234 beds (134 studios, plus 100 cluster flat bedrooms), indoor communal spaces, a reception area, gym, private dining space, cinema, and game rooms.

Planning documents submitted to City of York Council says the architecture aims to reflect Layerthorpe’s industrial heritage, through various uses of brickwork.


The scheme emphasises sustainability, with it featuring high energy efficiency, a rooftop garden, EV charging points and parking for 116 bikes.

The application said: “The objective is to offer high-quality, comfortable, and secure living accommodation that significantly enhances the student experience. This includes fostering a strong sense of community, promoting well-being, ensuring security, and prioritising sustainability.

(Image: pic supplied)

“The design of the building aims to make a positive contribution to the surrounding area, setting a new standard for architectural excellence. It aspires to be a model for future developments in the locality, emphasising high quality design, sustainability, and harmonious integration with the existing urban landscape.”

The application said the existing Mazda dealership was on one of the last remaining car yards in the area, as car retailing moves to Clifton Moor. The building is in “a poor state” unsuitable for conversion.

The area is undergoing change, with the site previously containing the John Bull Pubs and a furniture store.

Recent years has seen the development of more student flats, along with other flats, and hotels, including a new Premiere Inn.

The application said York in 2021-22 had 26,960 students at its various universities and colleges. The city had an under-supply of 6,500-11,878 full-time students unable to access purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA).

(Image: pic supplied)

York has a “healthy level of demand for PBSA” and the scheme, convenient for both universities, plus bars, restaurants and shops, would also “reduce the pressure on local housing stock.”

The application concluded the scheme presented a “thoughtful and well-considered response” to York’s demand for student flats.

The developer had paid attention to comments and recommendations from council planning staff in amending the proposals, creating a scheme of appropriate scale, with a design reflecting the area’s industrial heritage.

There was landscaping, cycle spaces, CCTV and a range of safety features.

Furthermore: “In summary, this development not only seeks to provide essential student housing but also aims to enrich the urban landscape of Layerthorpe, contributing to the wider community and supporting the ongoing regeneration efforts within the Layerthorpe area. “