McDonald's: Readers in shock at plans for new drive-thru in Whinmoor, Leeds, in place of 'historic' pub

Residents have reacted in shock at the news that fast food giants McDonald's are planning on opening a new spot in place of a "historic" pub.

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

McDonald's has launched a public consultation seeking the views of the community as it prepares to submit an application for a new drive-thru restaurant in the Whinmoor area.

The new establishment would be in place of the former Old Red Lion Pub on the corner of the Baildon Drive/A64 York Road junction. The pub closed after losing its alcohol license in 2021 following a spate of violent incidents.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

McDonald's has said that the multi-million-pound investment would "transform the currently underused site" and create around 120 new jobs.

The company also said the proposal would benefit the cash-strapped Leeds City Council, with business rates of around £60,000 being paid to the council, for investment into vital local resources.

Residents shared their thoughts at the news that a new fast food takeaway would take the place of the pub, which was at the site for over 260 years.

Dianne Hewit said it was a "shame" to lose the Old Red Lion as it "used to be a lovely pub in its day".

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Others said it was a "sad ending" for the venue, with Casey King saying it was "a place where the community got together (and) friendships were made".

Another YEP reader said the pub "has so much history" and expressed his desire for someone to "invest and make it a decent restaurant".

Some readers raised concerns about the negative health implications that having a new McDonald's would have on locals and worried that it may lead to an increase in litter.

Others welcomed a McDonald's for the Whinmoor area though, with one person saying the news was "brilliant" as the former pub building had become an "eyesore".

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

An online portal has been launched with further details where local residents and businesses will be able to help McDonald's progress plans for the new restaurant.

Philip Isherwood, Senior Acquisitions Manager at McDonald's said: “We’re excited to start sharing our plans for a new McDonald’s restaurant to the Whinmoor community. This development would deliver over 120 new, local jobs, and provide a multi-million- pound investment into the local economy, at a time of economic uncertainty.

“The site, located on the site of the former Old Red Lion Pub, is ideally placed to serve residents and visitors in Whinmoor. We’re confident that residents and local businesses will recognise the value of greater choice, and the benefits of having a reliable and convenient restaurant from a recognised brand serving food at reasonable prices.

“We’re looking forward to working closely with the community and receiving feedback on our plans. We’d like to encourage everyone interested to go to our website and make their views known.”

The public consultation will remain open until February 12 for anyone in the area who wants to share their views on the proposed plans.