Debate over Leeds park cafe plan

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Around 70 people turned up to a council meeting to discuss whether to grant an alcohol licence to a popular cafe in Meanwood.

Members of Leeds City Council’s licensing sub-committee are yet to decide on whether to give the green light to an application for the Meanwood Park Cafe to serve alcohol, after hearing more than a dozen people speak both in support of and against the proposal.

The meeting had to be moved into the council’s main chamber to accommodate the crowd.

The application was for the cafe, off Green Road in Meanwood Park, to play live and recorded music every day from 9am to 11pm; and to serve alcohol every day from 11am until 11pm. A representative of applicant Scott Westlake said: “It is currently a cafe, but the cafe needs to extend its retail proposition. We are taking a commercial risk with these premises. This is far from a slam-dunk.

“We remain convinced that we have done everything we can, and for the best reasons. We are not asking for anything that Roundhay, Rothwell and Horsforth parks don’t enjoy.”

He added he felt the concerns made by some about noise nuisance were not valid, as: “parks, by definition, are noisy”.

Objecting to the proposal, speakers suggested the nearby roads were too narrow and congested, that it would add to noise in the area and that the park was not a suitable place to serve alcohol. Nearby resident Peter Bonsell told the meeting: “I believe that the intention to have live and recorded music would cause a significant public nuisance.” Another objector, Alan Nixon, said that the mix of late night opening, loud music and alcohol would make the area “too noisy”.

Members of the panel are expected to make a decision on the application at some point in the coming week.