Pudsey community divided amid reports Starbucks set to take over old HSBC building

Hundreds of Pudsey residents have voiced their opinion at the news Starbucks is due to open in the former HSBC building in the centre of town.

By Daniel Sheridan
Thursday, 21st April 2022, 3:21 pm
Updated Friday, 22nd April 2022, 2:02 pm

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A change of use planning application from a bank to a coffee shop has been approved by the council on April 13.

The property had previously been listed at almost half a million pounds for sale.

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Now, the Yorkshire Evening Post has learned Starbucks are interested in taking over the building - with the site having been empty since October 2020 when the bank closed. cc Google

The applicant for the change of use was named on documents as Church Court (Morley) Ltd alongside agent Huddersfield-based Code L6 Architecture.

Now, the Yorkshire Evening Post has learned Starbucks are interested in taking over the building - with the site having been empty since October 2020 when the bank closed.

However, news of the chain's potentially imminent arrival in the town has left the Pudsey community divided.

Many have questioned the need for another coffee shop just yards from popular independents Olde Booth Tea Rooms and new booming business Bean and Gone.

The arrival of Starbucks in the town centre would follow others such as Boots, B&M and Sainsbury's.

Trish Smith is a Conservative councillor for Pudsey.

She said whilst she "welcomed the investment" from a multi-national into Pudsey, she was "very concerned for the independent shops, especially coffee shops".

Coun Smith added: Everything has it’s place and our independents each have their own unique identities which I hope continues to serve them well.

"We can only hope this proves to be a positive for Pudsey, without us losing our identity."

Some members of the community vowed to support the independents.

Dickie Wood said: "I definitely fear for local businesses.

"Like Tesco/Sainsbury these large chains suck the life out of independents. Another awful decision."

Ann Coates added: "Fear for the little shops!"

Others welcomed a new business into the area.

Sarah Banks said: "Yes Starbucks, I’d be happy."

To view the planning approval, click here.Starbucks, Code L6 and Leeds Council have all been contacted for comment.

A spokesperson for Starbucks said: "“We are always looking for new locations and opportunities to bring the Starbucks Experience to customers in the UK, but at this time we have no updates to share about plans in Pudsey.”

Here are some more of your responses to the reports:

Amy Downes: "Would be such a shame.

"Every time there is a new business in Pudsey there are lots of suggestions from local people about what is needed and wanted here (greengrocers, bakery, soft play - that last one is my favourite!), but that all seems to get ignored.

"We have such a lovely, local community here, it would be a shame to fill it with national companies rather than supporting local business people. When it arrives, I will still be going to Scrumdiddliumptious at the bus station!"

Linda Shield: "We have enough coffee shops in Pudsey. Pudsey could do with something new."

Deborah Dixon: "Pudsey is a small business triumph.

"Let's leave it that way please."

Jacqueline Elizabeth Angel: "The thing with big brands moving in is usually more followed suit.

"I will still be using the independent coffee shop but once one big brand opens and is successful other shops become interested and footfall increases."

Shirley Flather: "I’m not a fan of Starbucks coffee. So, I will be supporting a local coffee shop."

Lindsay Hawkshaw: "What worries me is that such a major chain moving in may impact the smaller independent shops that we have."

Tasha Shaman: "Independent coffee shops like Bean & Gone will be the only places getting our custom."