THE owners of a former Chinese restaurant in the centre of York have shelved plans to turn it in to a late-night karaoke bar.

Proposals for refurbishing the Barbican Road building which once housed the Royal Dragon restaurant were handed in to City of York Council in December.

But they have now been withdrawn, after local residents complained its new use could lead to their peace being disturbed.

JWPC Limited, the planning agents for the scheme, said the plans would be resubmitted once issues which have emerged had been dealt with, including concerns about noise.

But the karaoke facilities would only be available for use by diners at the ground-floor restaurant which forms part of the scheme.

If it goes ahead, the venue will be renamed The Regency. A licence to operate the business was granted by the council in November, but planning permission for the refurbishment is still required.

Renovation work is currently taking place at the site – which was home to the Spotted Cow pub before becoming the Royal Dragon – with the plans, submitted by applicant ZL Chen, also including three dining rooms for parties on the upper floors and 11 karaoke rooms.

It would have room for 100 people, with no more than 50 on the upper floors at a time, and JWPC has said ten new jobs would be created.

The council was originally due to make a decision on the proposals this month, although planning officials raised “significant concerns” about the venue’s licence application when it was discussed in November.

People living near the site also objected due to the owners wanting permission to open until 3.30am every day, but the applicants have said the last entry time for customers would be midnight.

In the original planning application, JWPC said “significant investment” was being pumped into the scheme, which would give the building “a viable economic role”. The firm also said soundproofing measures would be installed to help allay noise concerns.