Controversial Call Lane bar could have new licensee

The meeting will take place at Civic Hall.
The meeting will take place at Civic Hall.

The future of a controversial Leeds City Centre bar is set to be discussed yet again by council decision-makers this week.

An application to transfer the premises licence for Norman bar on Call Lane to a new licence-holder is set to be decided today by the authority’s licensing sub-committee, following an objection from West Yorkshire Police.

Norman has recently reopened, after having its licence suspended following a mass brawl among revellers in the early hours of March 24.

In a letter to the committee, police licensing officer PC Kath Arkle claimed the proposed new licence-holder, Leonna Taylor, was running the bar on the evening of the incident, and that granting the licence would “undermine the crime prevention objective”.

It read: “On March 24, 2019 at 3.10am, West Yorkshire Police were alerted to large scale disorder both inside and outside Norman Bar. Management and door staff had lost control and violent disorder was taking place.

“This was prior to the receipt of a validated application to transfer the premises licence into Ms Taylor’s name (March 26), but West Yorkshire Police are aware that an unvalidated transfer application was received by the licensing authority on March 19, and that the proposed premises licence holder was running the business.

“Therefore, West Yorkshire Police would ask any presiding sub-committee at a hearing to refuse this application outright with a view to promoting the crime prevention objective.”

The letter was sent on March 27, one day before a meeting of the sub-committee temporarily suspended the bar’s licence while an investigation could take place.

At a meeting on April 17, the sub-committee decided the bar should be allowed to keep its licence subject to further safety conditions, including ID scanners and extra door staff at the premises.

The suspension on the bar’s opening was also lifted, meaning it could reopen as soon as the measures were in place.