Decision due on controversial plans for landmark former Leeds bank banking

The former Yorkshire Bank building.
The former Yorkshire Bank building.
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CONTROVERSIAL plans for a landmark former bank building in Leeds look set for approval.

As previously reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post, an application has been lodged with Leeds City Council for the use of the one-time Yorkshire Bank on Harrogate Road, Chapel Allerton, to be changed from “financial and professional services” to “bar/restaurant”.

The application, made by Mabgate-based KD Properties, has been opposed by the Leeds Civic Trust and Chapel Allerton ward councillors Jane Dowson, Mohammed Rafique and Eileen Taylor.

It is now due to come before the council’s north and east plans panel at a meeting taking place this Thursday.

And a council report compiled for members of the panel recommends the application be given the green light.

Designed by Clifford Medley and made from distinctive Portland limestone, the Art Deco-influenced building opened in 1937 but currently stands vacant.

The report says: “It is considered that the proposal is acceptable in planning policy terms and having regard to the commercial nature of the Town Centre, the vacancy of the property and its wider context, that the proposal would not cause any significant problems relating to issues of residential amenity or highway safety and will enhance the Conservation Area.”

Issues raised by objectors to the proposed change of use include the number of bars and restaurants already operating in Chapel Allerton and a possible increase in traffic and litter.

Eight comments of support for the switch have been sent to the council, with one local resident saying: “I would rather see the change of use than the building be left unoccupied for long periods.”

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