Headingley Wetherspoons set to be approved on site of Elinor Lupton Centre former school
Headingley looks one step closer to getting a Wetherspoons after Leeds planning chiefs granted permission in principle to convert a former school building into a pub.
The council’s south and west plans panel met this week to discuss plans from JD Wetherspoons to convert the former Elinor Lupton Centre in Richmond Road, which was used as part of Leeds Girls High School until 2004.
The developers claimed the pub would create job opportunities and bring a listed building back into use in a “sympathetic” way.
But some locals worried that it would bring noise and antisocial behaviour to the area.
Local councillor Neil Walshaw told the meeting: “This is a quiet residential area. The access to the building is through quiet residential streets. Deliveries will avoid Headingley Lane like the plague.
“We try to keep residential areas residential and that should continue.
“Metres from the smoking area would be people’s living rooms. In 2019, are we going to put a pub so close to people’s living rooms?
“This is not what we want. It’s not an ideal location for a pub.”
He added that an empty pub was already available in the centre of Headingley in North Lane.
A planning consultant speaking on behalf of JD Wetherspoons said: “Prior to JD Wetherspoons purchasing the building four years ago, it had been marketed for four years. No other interested parties were found.
“It provides a unique opportunity to renovate a listed building in a sympathetic way.”
He added that Wetherspoons had many pubs near residential communities and, through the pubs’ “no music” policy, were able to coexist with housing.
Panel member Coun Kayleigh Brooks said: “I find this really interesting because of how long it’s been going on for.
“Speaking as a resident who lives in Hyde Park and as someone who walks along that road, it quite often feels unsafe and it’s not a pleasant road to walk down, and I am really pleased that there is an active frontage here, as it will increase our feeling of safety.
“If there’s any positive to this it would be that increase in feeling of safety.”
The committee passed recommendations to accept the application in principle and delegate further details to council officers. The company must also now apply for an alcohol licence on the building.