Children living near a long-abandoned Leeds pub are now leading a campaign to demolish the “eyesore” and replace some of its land with a play area.
The YEP reported earlier this week that almost 200 people had signed a petition urging council bosses to act over the Fernlea pub in Tong Way, Farnley.
They want the building demolished or brought back into use, and to get part of its attached land turned into a play area for youngsters. They say there is nowhere else on the estate for local children to play and the site – where they currently play – is unsafe.
Today, dozens of youngsters joined the chorus of adult voices calling for action on the site.
Megan Fisher, 12, from Tong Walk, said: “I’m sick of this site. It’s disgusting and it’s not safe. It’s just horrible and we want a play area instead.”
Jason Reynolds, 11, from Tong Drive, said: “We have nowhere else to play on this estate. We keep annoying Brenda [who lives next door to the pub] because of hitting the ball against the shutters and into her garden.”
Adam Stobbs, 14, also from Tong Drive, said: “I have lived here for 14 years and I remember when the pub was open.
“But because of the way it is now, people come onto this estate and think it’s a trampy place. But it’s a nice place to live apart from this.”
Declan Gibson, seven, added: “It doesn’t make me feel good. I wish they would knock it down and give us somewhere to play.”
And Kristi Kay, 16, a college student who lives in Tong Drive, added: “It’s an eyesore to everybody that comes on the estate.
“The little ones get petrified when they have to walk up to the main park (Farnley Park) and people are scared to send their kids there.”
Brenda Stobbs, whose house is next to the pub, said she is often disturbed by noise from youngsters playing in the pub forecourt but added she has “no issue with the kids”.
She said broken glass on the site and a lack of proper play facilities for youngsters concerns her more.
Local Green Party councillor Ann Blackburn is spearheading the petition for action.
A spokesman for Leeds City Council previously told the YEP the council has been working with owners Punch Taverns to look at “options including potential sale” of the site.
However he said the land had been “looked at and assessed and is just not suitable” for a play area.