MANY city centre residents are opposing plans for a games bar in Stonebow House.

The licensing committee of City of York Council is due to determine a premises license application from Roxy Leisure Ltd when it meets on Monday.

If approved, The Roxy Ball Room would offer games like pool, beer pong, along with a bar and kitchen.

However, the city council has received 38 letters of objection, including one from York Central Labour MP Rachel Maskell.


The opponents to the scheme say such a facility in the empty ground-floor location would fuel crime, disorder, public noise and nuisance in an area, they say, is already over-saturated with drinking establishments.

They also said it contradicted the council’s “My City Vision” document, which aims to make York a more family-friendly destination.

Among them, the Residents Association of St Saviourgate said: “This venue will become a magnet for stags and hens, exactly the drunken groups that are expensive to police and that York seeks to discourage.”

One St Saviourgate resident said the area was already a ‘no go zone’ with people relieving themselves in doorways and leaving vomit and broken bottles on pavements.

York Press: Stonebow House

An Aldwark resident said their property was already used as a toilet, for vomiting and people having sex.

This was a Conservation Area and “our peace will be shattered”, said another.

And another Aldwark resident said: “The ballroom would contribute to York’s sullied reputation as a stag, hen and drinking party destination.”

In addition, the Secretary of York Unitarians said it would be unsuitable close to a home of worship.

“The premises will become a new source of public disorder, noise, litter, fighting and general anti-social behaviour,” they told the council.

However, a report prepared by licensing staff for the meeting say the ‘operating schedule’ submitted by the applicant would meet licensing requirements if a range of conditions were followed.

This followed revisions at the behest of police and council officials.

It said: “The premises shall not operate as a bar or vertical drinking establishment, or nightclub and all licensable activities authorised by this licence shall be ancillary to the main function as a competitive socialising venue with at least 50% of the floor space will be dedicated to gaming areas.”

Furthermore, the venue must be connected to others via a radio link, join Pub Watch, install CCTV, record incidents of crime and disorder, only serve food until 10pm, it must have a Challenge 25 Proof of Age policy and not allow entry to under 18s.

When Roxy Leisure announced its plans in July, commercial manager, Joel Mitchell, said: "York is a vibrant city, with a diverse range of hospitality and leisure businesses. The licensing application is the final step for us to hopefully open a gaming hall for the city and bring our unique range of competitive socialising games."