AN ANGRY Leeds resident has set up a petition opposing plans that could see a derelict fire station turn into a community hub.
Dennis Bainbridge claims he has received over 1,000 signatures fighting proposals for Gipton Fire Station to be turned into a community centre.
The YEP previously reported that Leeds Community Foundation (LCF) was in negotiations with West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service to potentially buy the site on Gipton Approach.
The proposed purchase by LCF looks set to protect the 77-year-old building from demolition, and the foundation is working with community groups Zest Health for Life, Gipton Supported Independent Living (GIPSIL) and St Vincent’s, on the plans.
It has been given a funding pledge by Jimbo’s Fund, the charitable organisation named after businessman Jimi Heselden.
Mr Bainbridge says he fears it will impact the area negatively.
He said: “It’s the class of clients that is the problem. It’ll have a massive impact on the health and safety of the community.”
He added: “There will be no opportunity to have a pleasant and attractive outlook to the neighbourhood, giving warmth and comfort to families, conducive to well-being and good development.”
LCF chief executive, Sally-Anne Greenfield, said: “It is going to be a fantastic community resource that is going to create jobs and be used by local people.
“We haven’t bought it or submitted planning applications – we are still looking at the feasibility to see if it works.”
She added: “We will be talking to local residents about what they want it to be. It could be an amazing opportunity.”
The station is being sold as part of cost-cutting plans. Gipton and Stanks fire service will be run from the new Killingbeck station, due to open in October 2015.