THE owner of a Chinese restaurant who is about to shut shop, following a housing developer’s plans to demolish it, says his business will live on following a last minute deal with another landlord.

Ben Tsoi, the owner of the family-run MyAsia restaurant and takeaway on High Street in Northallerton, said his family had been left “depressed” and “extremely worried” when plans to redevelop the site by the Mandale Group, were first announced.

In December 2018, Mr Tsoi, who lives in the town with his wife and their 13-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter, told The Northern Echo that he would be forced to fold his business if plans to convert Romanby Court into a mix of flats and shops was approved by Hambleton District Council.

Trading in Northallerton for the last five years, Mr Tsoi said the developer’s suggestion to partially-demolish his shop, reducing it from 2,000 sq ft to 800 sq ft, would mean he would be unable to keep his restaurant business running.

A planning meeting, deciding the fate of the development, was held on Thursday, August 22 which confirmed the developer’s plans to demolish part of Mr Tsoi’s restaurant to make way for 12 privately-rented homes and shops.

In December, the developer’s plans were met with criticism from some Northallerton residents.

One MyAsia patron, Brian Allison of Lees Lane, said the potential closure was “upsetting”, while he said residents would end up being “deprived” of the town’s only Chinese restaurant.

But several months on, Mr Tsoi said the future of MyAsia had now been guaranteed following a last minute deal to move into a vacant restaurant elsewhere in the town.

He said: “My wife managed to spot a place, she telephoned the landlord and he said we could move in for free, and just pay the agreed rent.”

Mr Tsoi, who said this week was his final week of trading at his soon-to-be demolished premises, said customers were “thankful” that MyAsia was not leaving the town for good.

He said: “We are now looking for a new beginning, before we found a new place we were just so depressed.

“Customers are just thankful that we are not leaving Northallerton, as a family they are so glad that someone has sorted it out for us – that more than anything else.”

Mr Tsoi said the new lease on Friarage Street, expected to begin in October, would guarantee MyAsia’s existence in the town for at least ten years.