Developers have resubmitted plans to build a block of student flats just outside York’s city walls after councillors said it looked “like a student battery farm”.
KMRE Group lost an appeal against City of York Council’s rejection of their initial scheme, with an independent planning inspector backing councillors’ concerns.
They had wanted to build a block of 86 student flats in Fawcett Street, in the former kitchen and bathroom supplier Plumbase, near York Barbican.
But councillors on the planning committee said they feared residents could develop mental health problems due to the lack of shared space.
The planning inspector said in a report: “I have also found that as a result of the proposed internal shared communal space, the proposal would not provide suitable living conditions for future occupiers, would not represent a well-designed place, would not have a high standard of amenity for future users, and would not provide internal environments of a suitable standard and quality.
“These potentially poor living conditions… would be a serious failing and could lead to serious harm.”
KMRE have submitted new plans with more shared space and three fewer bedrooms.
In planning documents submitted to the council, they said: “Additional 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 each individual studio bedroom.
“The amenity areas located on each floor will comprise of relaxed and informal seating areas together with a kitchenette to enable the students to have access to drink facilities within the shared communal areas.
“In addition to the additional smaller, more personal amenity space now provided across each individual floor, the scheme also provides a larger shared communal area to the ground floor close to Fawcett Street and the entrance from this main thoroughfare.”
The developers said the new application “fully addressed” the concerns raised by councillors and said planning permission should be granted “at the earliest opportunity” to allow the scheme to go ahead.
A decision could be taken before the end of the month.