More than 400 objections have been logged against plans to turn a derelict pub into a community and welfare centre.
Now members of Leeds City Council’s plans panel north and east will today decide whether to grant permission for charity UKIM (UK Islamic Mission) to transform the former Lingfield pub in Moortown.
The public house, which has been derelict for several years, is boarded up and a local eyesore.
UKIM propose to turn the forlorn building into a centre offering prayer rooms, elderly day care, meeting rooms for youth and women’s groups, job search and IT facilities, and a gym.
Opening hours would be 8.30am to 11pm, seven days a week.
But proposals have sparked passionate reaction from local residents, who have submitted 403 individual objections.
Common concerns include:
* Road safety;
* Increased traffic, and
* Attracting people from outside of the existing community.
There are also local suspicions that the new space will be turned into a mosque.
Ian Greenberg, chairman of the Lingfield and Fir Trees Residents’ Association, has previously denied the nature of the application had anything to do with the objections.
Planning officer Jillian Rann’s report recommends panel members give the green light.
It concludes: “...having regard to the benefits in terms of bringing a vacant building back into use, balancing these against potential implications, it is considered the proposed development is acceptable, and any concerns could be satisfactorily addressed through the use of conditions relating to the development and the management of the centre.
“In light of advice from consultees, and subject to the conditions suggested above, it is considered the proposed use would be acceptable in terms of visual and residential amenity and highway safety, and it is recommended that the application is approved.”
In total 42 individuals wrote in support of the plan.