Scott Baker Properties is applying for planning permission for the redevelopment of the Mayfair Homecare building in London Road.
'The proposed HMO use would satisfy a unique housing demand for affordable accommodation for young people and those on lower incomes,' a statement submitted on its behalf by Whaleback Planning & Design says. 'The proposal would make optimal use of the existing property whilst modernising it in a sympathetic manner.'
Each of the 16 rooms would have en suite facilities and two communal areas with kitchen facilities would be provided across the building.
It said all of the rooms was above minimum space standards required by the city council and that its non-provision of parking was suitable because none were provided during its use as office space.
The statement adds: 'The proposed HMO use would be in keeping with the character of the surrounding area, which is a mix of commercial, residential and some HMO uses and falls within a central area where a reasonable level of activity is to be expected for local residents.'
The council has set a target of May 9 for reaching a decision.