PLANS have been made to turn a former print works currently used as office space into student accommodation.

Several planning applications have been submitted asking for permission to turn William Robson House, in Claypath, Durham, into 74 studio flats aimed at students.

The proposal is to convert the building and car park into 71 one-bed flats and three two-bed studios.

Sixteen of the flats would be in converted attic space, with a further 28 in the decked car park.

The scheme would also include a communal space.

The building, which is located in Moody’s Yard, behind the Big Jug pub and Durham Food convenience store, is accessed via an archway between 83 and 84 Claypath.

Hillcrest NW Ltd, which has submitted the plans, say the intervention required to adapt the building are “minimal” and the industrial appearance of the building will be retained.

A planning statement says: “There are numerous commercial buildings in Claypath where the upper floors have been converted to residential and therefore the proposals can be considered to be in keeping with the surrounding area.

“The proposals sit comfortably within the fabric of the existing building and immediate surroundings.

“The design respects the industrial character and appearance of the existing building whilst ensuring high quality and sustainable living standards.”

William Robson House, described as the only substantial industrial style building in Claypath, has been offices since 1999.

Previously, it had been the Bailes printing works.

Planning permission had been granted for residential use a number of years ago but was never implemented.

It is currently occupied by groups including NECA, Durham’s gambling service, and Groundwork.

If it goes ahead, it means there will be purpose-built accommodation for more than 500 students in Claypath.

The site is close to the development at 18-29 Claypath, where a block of accommodation with space for 445 students, is currently under construction and is due to be completed later this year.