Concern grows over plans to demolish famous Leeds cafe

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Resistance is building over the proposed demolition of a well-known cafe in Leeds.

Dunnies on Bridge Street in Otley could be ripped down and proposals to demolish the cafe are part of an application to develop the area and build a large care home on the riverside.

The loss of the greasy spoon would be particularly mourned by the prolific cycling and biking communities, who frequent the institution that is located on the banks of the River Wharfe.

Now Otley and Yeadon Lib Dem councillors Colin Campbell, Ryk Downes and Sandy Lay are calling on planners to resist the application.

Coun Downes said: “Dunnies is a landmark building in Otley, which is why I asked late last year for it to be listed.

“Its removal would be like losing an old friend.”

Coun Lay said: “Generations of Otley residents along with thousands of cyclists have fond memories of a mug of tea and bacon sandwich at Dunnies.

“This is a building which is famous throughout the county and beyond.

“Its loss would leave a hole on the street and in the heart of the town.”

Coun Campbell added: “At the moment there are no agreed plans for the old school site on Bridge Street; though none of us would miss the adjacent derelict school building, it would be premature to allow the thriving cafe to be removed.”

In a statement at the time of the original applicationCoun Downes said that he had no problem with the principle of a care home being built where the former school annexe was.

However he added: “It is an important site as you come over the River Wharfe and approach the town centre.

“The previous application by another developer failed because it would block out sunlight to houses on Manor Street and was too close to them and it appears that developer was unwilling to move the building around on the site.

“The latest proposal I feel is too big and is not sympathetic to the area and is not an appropriate size for the entrance to Otley town centre.

“As I have said I would support what I believe to be a suitable plan, but the current one is not.”

Along with his brother Michael, who owns and leases out the neighbouring Wharfe View News, Paul Davies would be looking to sell up should the plan progress.

A previous application to build a dementia care home on the former school site was turned down.

Now developer Adlington wants to create a 55-unit flat complex for older people.

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