CONTROVERSIAL plans to create a late-night karaoke club in York have cleared their first hurdle but could still be vetoed.

Owner Chong Hung Chun wants to turn the former Royal Dragon Chinese restaurant in Barbican Road,  into The Regency, with 11 karaoke rooms and room for dancing and live and recorded music until 3.30am, seven days a week.

Yesterday, City of York Council’s licensing committee approved a licence but the owner needs planning permission before he can open and no planning application has yet been submitted.

The council’s own planning department raised “significant concerns” in a memo to the licensing department and numerous locals also complained.

Matthew Parkinson, of the planning department, said in the memo: “The proposed use has the potential to have significant impact on the amenity and living conditions of nearby residents through noise and disturbance.

“Such disturbance would be made even worse by the proposed licensing times, which show a finish time every day of 3.30am and officers further object to this.”

He added: “No planning permission has been sought and initial consideration of such proposals would lead officers to consider that permission would not be granted for this use in this location.”