Learning centre in residential Harehills street - appeal launched

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TWO adjoining Harehills terrace houses continue to be used as a children’s educational centre more than seven weeks after retrospective planning permission was refused amid fears for children’s safety.

At a meeting of Leeds City Council’s plans panel north and east in June, councillors heard numbers 15 and 17 Sandhurst Road have been used to provide after school education for children through religious and social activities since 2006.

Residents complained of unbearable noise and raised concerns over increased traffic. Councillors expressed fears for children’s safety if fire broke out after hearing up to 100 children at a time could be taught in the two houses.

They voted unanimously to refuse the application.

Professor Abdul Rehman, of LECS Education Centre Ltd, yesterday confirmed he is still teaching at the houses and has appealed against the council’s decision to refuse the planning application. Prof Rehman said: “If the appeal is rejected we will definitely have to leave.” Prof Rehman said he is looking for alternative commercial premises in the area.

A spokeswoman for Leeds City Council said: “We served an enforcement notice on the property on July 10 to inform the owners they must stop using the property as an education and cultural centre. The owners had until August 10 to appeal the enforcement notice – as far as we are aware no appeal has been made, however this could still be being processed. If no appeal was made, they now have until September 10 to stop using the property for this purpose. We are aware an appeal has been made to the planning inspectorate against the decision to refuse the application for a change of use, however this appeal does not affect the enforcement action at this time.”