Eyesore Leeds pub will be replaced with affordable homes

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A LONG abandoned Leeds pub which has been branded an eyesore could soon be demolished and the site used for new housing.

The Ancestor pub in Armley Ridge Road, Armley has been boarded up for several years and, since 2011, it has been on Leeds City Council’s list of “derelict and eyesore” buildings.

Now council chiefs are buying back the ground lease from the current tenant. It is feared if they don’t, the building could deteriorate further and become a menace to locals.

The authority has earmarked the site for the building of new affordable housing. It is understood an undisclosed offer has already been made to the leaseholder, and it has been accepted.

The pub is not the first abandoned watering hole to be reclaimed by the council for housing.

In the past year, the authority has also bought back the ground leases for the Squinting Cat and the Whinmoor pub, both in Swarcliffe, east Leeds.

The building will only be offered to affordable housing providers for development.

A Leeds City Council spokeswoman said: “This site falls under the council’s derelict and nuisance properties programme which seeks to tackle a number of properties in poor condition across the city.

“We have worked hard to minimise the number of eyesore sites in the city over the last few years, prioritising the worst sites and making sure we are able to tackle sites in communities across the city to significantly improve the look and feel of these areas.

“This public house has been closed for a number of years and is in a poor condition, and therefore we want to acquire the site so as to be able to facilitate the development of new housing.”

A report just signed off by the council’s head of property services says: “The [Ancestor] public house has been closed for a number of years and is in a poor condition.

“The property has been included in the council’s Derelict and Nuisance Properties Programme. The site has been identified for residential development.

“Demolition is proposed to be undertaken as soon as possible after completion of the acquisition.”

The report adds that demolition and development is “the most effective approach”, and that leaving things as they are means a “high risk” of “continued deterioration and impact on the immediate community” as well as potential housing land being lost if the lease is sold privately.

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