Historic Leeds pub set to be revived in £1m homes bid

The old Royal Oak pub in Kippax.
The old Royal Oak pub in Kippax.
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A Grade II-listed former Leeds pub, which had become an “eyesore”, is in the midst of a £1m redevelopment.

The Royal Oak, in Cross Hills, Kippax, has been empty for more than 18 months but now developers Manor House Farm Construction are converting it into seven apartments, while a shop unit and five other apartments are being built in its grounds.

With history dating back to the 1700s, the pub building will be returned back to its original name, ‘Kippax House’, when its renovation is completed during spring this year.

Developer Christine Ford and her partner, who is from Garforth, acquired the site in May 2012 but building work was delayed through planning – only starting in September last year.

She told the YEP: “It’s a beautiful building but it had gone to wrack and ruin and hadn’t worked as a pub for a few years. We always thought there was potential to develop it into apartments.

“There’s a great satisfaction in bringing something so iconic to life – it was an eyesore.”

She said the flats are available through the government’s Help to Buy scheme, allowing buyers to get on the property ladder by paying smaller deposits.

The first phase of construction will see the Royal Oak turned into one and two-bed apartments and a new retail unit with a flat above built next door in the coming months, while a four-apartment annex called Kippax Mews will be built in the old car park by the end of 2014.

The Royal Oak was the home and surgery of Dr Stephen Infield at the start of the 1900s, before stints as a pub under breweries such as Joshua Tetley from 1921.

Coun Keith Wakefield (Lab, Kippax and Methley) said: “It is a shame to lose an old pub but great that we are able to retain such a historical building and retain the character of the village.”

He said the plans mean an extension is being demolished to allow the pavement next to the building to be widened – something residents welcome.

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