Changes to Leeds city centre bar are given the go ahead

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LICENSING bosses have given the go ahead for substantial changes to be made to a bar in Leeds city centre despite concerns being raised by West Yorkshire Police.

Bar Fibre, on Lower Briggate, applied to create a new seating area and relocate both the bar and the staircase by moving the toilets from the second floor to the basement.

The plans were given the go ahead, subject to conditions, by Leeds City Council’s Licensing Committee yesterday.

But in a report submitted previously to the panel, West Yorkshire Police voiced their concerns over the proposals, saying it was apparent the changes had already been made, according to evidence taken from social media sites.

Police constable Cath Arkle, Leeds District Licensing Officer, said during a visit to Fibre last month that it was “obvious” the alterations had already been made and it would increase capacity on the second floor by around 27 people.

Officers added that they would have objected to the plans, which the report said would almost double the capacity of the bar, as it is situated in the ‘Red Area’ of the city centre, which is considered to be saturated with licensed properties and any new premises or extending opening hours are recommended for refusal.

Concerns were also raised over the ‘unacceptable level’ of crime and disorder at the premises over the last six months, which included seven offences of actual bodily harm and an attempted rape, according to the report.

It added that the bar was in a busy area that is already an ‘alcohol related violent crime hotspot for robbery, assault and theft’.

The Yorkshire Eevning Post contacted Bar Fibre but they did not respond when asked for a comment.