Fresh plans for student flats likened to 'battery farm' have just three fewer flats

Revised plans for a new student accommodation block in York – which were rejected by councillors last month – have been submitted.

The scheme for the former Plumbase site in Fawcett Street was previously likened to a “student battery farm” by Coun Pete Kilbane.

The former application was turned down by City of York Council’s planning committee because they felt there was too little space for students to socialise and they feared this would lead to mental health problems.

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Developer KMRE Group have now lowered the number of studio flats planned for the block from 86 to 83.

How the student flats could look
How the student flats could look

And the fresh plans include lounges on every floor of the building.

The planning application says: “Amenity areas have been placed on each floor to promote a sense of inclusion and social interaction between students further to the space allowance within the studio.

“The scheme provides amenity areas totalling 169.6m2 which equates to 2m2 of amenity space per student bed-space.”

They point out that City of York Council does not have any set guidelines on how much shared space student developments should have, or how big student development studio flats should be.

But Leeds City Council does have guidelines and the developer says the plans provide both more lounge space and larger studio flats than the minimum sizes required by the Leeds Local Plan.

The studio apartments will range in size between 20 and 28m2, with the majority being 23m2 in size, according to the application.

The developers have changed the designs to create a larger student social room on the ground floor and to add lounges on the first, second and third floors.

The original plans were rejected at a planning meeting on June 17, when the developers said one of the original 86 flats could be sacrificed to create an extra common room – but that removing more rooms would affect the viability of the project.

Work is already underway on a 368-bedroom student development at Frederick House nearby in Fulford Road. And plans have been unveiled for a 280-bedroom student accommodation block at the former Mecca Bingo in Fishergate, about 200 metres away.