PLANS to open a cafe in a landmark former perfume shop in York city centre have been abandoned.

The decision not to open a Lucky Days cafe in the former Burgins Perfumery on the corner of Coney Street and St Helen’s Square will leave it standing empty for even longer.

Burgins, which closed down in July 2017 after trading in York for 137 years, was set earlier this year to come back into use by now.

Owner Chris Holder, who already has three Lucky Days branches elsewhere in the city centre - in Parliament Street, Church Street and Low Petergate - applied for planning permission to convert the building into an eatery and takeaway, with an outdoor seating area.

But he has now revealed that he has dropped his plans after encountering numerous bureaucratic difficulties in making changes to the Grade 11 listed building.

He said he faced a series of requirements in relation to interior alterations and was also told he could only have two tables, each with two chairs, outside the premises, when he had wanted four tables, each with four.

He said he still wanted to open a fourth branch of the successful cafe business but had now decided to look elsewhere for a location where he might encounter fewer such problems, such as the Coppergate Centre.

A sign in the window from Blacks Property Consultants now states: “Shop to let.” Andrew Hedley of Blacks said it was “disappointing” it had had to go back on the market.

The Burgins shop first opened as Mark F Burgin’s pharmacy in 1880 and it was taken over by the Wright family in 1934, with Jeremy Wright changing it into a perfumery in 1972.

The business was subsequently taken over by June Yeo and then Hanus Wolf in 2011.

Mr Wolf said when the shop closed two years ago that it was no longer financially viable following changes in the face of trading in York city centre and changes in people’s shopping habits to buying items online instead of in shops.