A BOWLING alley and bar will open in York’s former Topshop building after councillors gave the green light for a premises licence.

Roxy Leisure – which has 10 sites around the north and midlands – applied to open its Roxy Lanes brand on the first floor of the Coppergate Centre.

Several residents of flats in Piccadilly wrote to City of York Council opposing the application on the grounds of potential noise, nuisance and anti-social behaviour, but councillors approved the plans.

The opening hours will be from 9am to 11.30pm on Monday to Thursday, 9am to 12.30am on Friday and Saturday, and 9am to 11pm on Sunday.

Although children will be welcome during the day, the venue will mostly be focused on competitive socialising between adults, including ping-pong and pool. Drinking at the venue will be an add-on rather than being the main focus – and there will be no dance floor.

Andras Sztrokay, who said he was representing the views of residents in the area, said: “This will mark whether Piccadilly will continue developing into a quieter area, back into a more historic position, or whether we see it transformed into a playground with more and more activities linked to drinking and anti-social behaviour.”

He added that the covered walkway area by the river, at the side of the Coppergate Centre, suffered from regular anti-social behaviour, including urinating.

“We very much fear that opening this venue will contribute to problems in that area,” he added.

Chris Rees-Gay, representing Roxy Leisure, said the company had not been subject to any enforcement action since it opened its first venue in 2013.

He added that 75 per cent of customers pre-book and 50 per cent of this is corporate trade. The entrance to the venue will be via St Mary’s Square, with Piccadilly only serving as a fire exit. The ground floor of the building will not be used by Roxy Lanes.

Responding to allegations the venue would lead to increased violence, vandalism and anti-social behaviour, Mr Rees-Gay said: “There is simply no evidence to support this allegation and Roxy Lanes, across the estate, are not associated with crime and disorder.”