PLANS have now been formally lodged for a new student community close to York city centre.

The application is for student accommodation on the former Mecca bingo hall site in Fishergate.

Olympian Homes have submitted the plans to City of York Council, working with the owners of the site, Grantside and North Star, following a public consultation process.

The proposals for the bingo hall which closed in March include 280 student bedrooms, landscaping and extensive bicycle parking.

To reflect the site's heritage, the new building will be named Rialto House after the cinema and venue which was demolished to make way for the bingo hall.

Following feedback through the consultation, air source heat pump equipment proposed to be located close to existing William Court residents has now been removed from the submitted plans.

George Downes, from Olympian Homes, said: “We believe these plans will regenerate this sustainable brownfield site into a high-quality new student community, which will help to free up family homes in the city that are currently used for student accommodation.

“We will replace this unattractive building with a well-designed new development that fits in with its surroundings.”

A recently published report by the Citizens Advice York and University of York Students Union highlighted that poor quality student accommodation and management, often in converted houses, harmed the mental and physical health of students.

There are about 27,000 registered students in full-time education from the city’s two universities and just over 10,000 purpose-built student bedrooms.

The developers say there are fewer than 700 in the pipeline, either being built or with planning permission.

Michelle Davies, director at DPP Planning, an independent consultancy currently advising a number of clients on student residential and urban living schemes, said: “We have enjoyed a really positive and productive pre-application process with City of York Council in developing this scheme and now look forward to progressing it through planning.”