Leeds eviction battle takes new turn

Volunteers and users at The Inkwell, pictured earlier this year in their community garden.
Volunteers and users at The Inkwell, pictured earlier this year in their community garden.
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Campaigners fighting a charity’s imminent eviction from a former pub and its gardens have won a chance to delay redevelopment of the building - and to put together a case to buy it for the community.

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As reported previously in the Yorkshire Evening Post, the Inkwell arts charity for the disabled – based at the former Shoulder of Mutton pub in Potternewton Lane, Chapel Allerton – has been battling against a planning application for new homes on the site.

A renewed application for the site is expected to be submitted by the landowner.

But now, the Potter and Newts Neighbours community group has successfully had the pub and gardens listed as assets of community value.

It effectively means the community has to be given first dibs on buying the building.

A report just signed off by the council’s head of asset management says: “The property’s current use furthers the social interests and social wellbeing of the local community.”

The Localism Act 2011 allows communities a right make a bid to buy a property or land, which they feel is a valuable asset and has a social use, on the open market if the owner decides to sell.

The landowner is prevented from selling the property for a period of six months but can sell to who they want after that.

The report says: “The Potters and Newts Neighbours have stated that the purchase of the site can be achieved through a combination of funding streams, which includes money from Leeds Mind, local and/or government grants, lottery funding, local fundraising, letting out space in the building, and by utilising the income from the substation on the property.”

But it adds the landowner has put forward “several objections to the nomination and has stated that he has no intention of selling any part of the former Shoulder of Mutton site in the foreseeable future”.

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