Decision delayed on future of east Leeds pub

A pub in east Leeds has to wait to learn whether it has permission to extend its opening hours, following accusations of loud noises and swearing by locals.

Tuesday, 11th August 2020, 2:34 pm
Updated Tuesday, 11th August 2020, 2:36 pm

The Orchard in Dib Lane, Roundhay, has an application to extend the times for sale of alcohol each day to 10am-11pm on Sunday, 10am-11.30pm on Monday to Wednesday and 10am-midnight on Thursday to Saturday.

The application attracted a number of letters both supporting and objecting to the plans. Those in favour claimed the pub had improved over the years, and that very few complaints had been made about the pub in recent years.

Meanwhile, those objecting to the proposals claim the pub is beset with loud noises and excessive swearing from customers congregating outside.

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The Orchard in Roundhay.

Leeds City Council’s licensing sub-committee met today to discuss the plans.

George Domleo, representing landlady Claire Raynard, told the meeting: “Heineken are the landlord and there is an agreement in place to make the pub an asset to the community.

“Both Claire and (partner) Alan Traynor are from the area. They know the community considerably well. Meeting both Alan and Claire at the premises in March, they are good people and perfect for running the Orchard.

“They both take their responsibilities seriously – both Claire and Alan live on the site, so they don’t want people gathering outside at the end of the night and causing a nuisance.

“The Orchard did have its issues, but since their arrival they have addressed this and returned it to a valuable asset in the community.”

Alan Traynor, who assists Ms Raynard with running the pub, added: “When we took The Orchard pub on, we knew it had bad issues in the past and we have worked hard to try and move forward.

“We have offered to try and work things out with the local residents. They live here, we run a business here – we have to try and get on to get a happy medium between everybody.

“The pub did have a bad reputation, and we are trying to change it. We are going to continue doing what we think is a good job to keep things going.”

Objecting to the application, local resident Stuart Lowe claimed the pub was originally built on the understanding only be piped music at “a conversational level” would be played.

He added: “I understand times change and things move on. But the amount of noise we get in summer time is well above the noise levels that should be acceptable.

“This pub was built in a residential area. We wouldn’t have this problem if they could control the people outside – I know they said they stand on the door, but lately the noise level has drastically increased. It has affected the mental wellbeing and the noise pollution for the residents.

“We are taxpaying people – we rely on the council to represent the best interests of the local population – if we are not being informed, it does not fill me with a sense of wellbeing.”

Another objector, Angela Downbrook, added: “It is the excessive swearing and noise. A pub is going to have noise, and I have no objection to that, but we do object to the antisocial behaviour that isn’t dealt with.

“You can’t have your family – your grandchildren – in the garden, because of the unbelievable amount of swearing.

“Half the residents don’t want to spend their whole lives complaining. That is what is going to happen if this is accepted.

“We have tried going in there – it’s because of what it has become that most of the local neighbours don’t go in it.”

Mr Domleo responded: “It’s a simple case – the papers in front of you show licensing had three complaints.

“It’s about the premises striving and being successful but not causing an issue to the local residents. We have offered conditions.

“They are from the local community – they want to work with the local community to ensure they can survive.

“Alan and Claire have turned the premises around. The application is sensible and appropriate. It should be allowed to flourish. If there are issues in the future, there is recourse under legislation.”

Mr Traynor added: “If there are any noise issues, how about holding a monthly meeting? I want to help, but if people are not willing to talk to us, and inform us of what they are hearing, there is nothing we can do about it.”

Ms Raynard said: “We are only asking for what other pubs in the area have. We are not going to advertise it as extended hours, it just lets us get customers out steadily.”

Following a lengthy discussion in private, members of the committee agreed not to announce its decision today, and instead send it to the interested parties via post.

Leeds City Council have been contacted to clarify what decision was made.