Green Party leader Natalie Bennett has backed campaigners fighting to save a historic building in Headingley from being turned into a pub during a visit to Leeds.
She paid a visit to the north Leeds suburb during a tour of Leeds to learn more about community campaigns and projects across the city which she says stand up for the rights of vulnerable people.
Campaigners, including members of the Leeds Green party, are currently battling plans by Wetherspoons to convert the grade II-listed former education building from becoming a pub. Despite a number of community groups expressing an interest in taking over the building, it was sold to the pub chain at the end of last year and plans have now been submitted for its conversion.
Protestors argue the suburb does not need any more pubs and the plans will exacerbate current noise and traffic problems. Natalie Bennett said: “Bringing this iconic building back into use for the benefit of the community would be far preferable to it becoming yet another drinking establishment.”
Yesterday she also visited charity No Going back, Chapeltown’s Latch, which refurbishes run-down homes, and Holbeck Viaduct, which campaigners want to turn into new public green space and a walking and cycling route. She said: “It’s been inspiring to visit such a fantastic range of community projects and charities across Leeds, and find out how Leeds Green Party is standing up for the interests of the city’s diverse communities.”