Leeds church congregation objects to ‘Ghetto Golf’ plans to serve alcohol until 1am

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Plans to serve alcohol at an 'adventure golf club' in Leeds are being challenged by the congregation of nearby Redeemed Christian Church of God, who worry such a move could bring antisocial behaviour to the area.

Applicant Bull Hoof Ltd wants permission from Leeds City Council to serve alcohol at Ghetto Golf in Falcon House, Burley, which is expected to operate as an “adventure golf venue with cocktail bars and restaurant/bar meal facilities”.

The applicant wants permission to play films and live music as well as serving alcohol every day from 10am to 1am.

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The applicant stated it would have a ‘comprehensive CCTV system’, a strict 18-plus policy, door supervision and a ‘zero tolerance’ policy on drugs.

Walter Street, Burley, where both sites are situated. (Credit: Google)Walter Street, Burley, where both sites are situated. (Credit: Google)
Walter Street, Burley, where both sites are situated. (Credit: Google)

But the plans have received dozens of letters of objection which, according to a report from Leeds City Council, come mainly from the congregation of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, which is a nearby property. Many believed granting such permission would lead to crime, disorder and even “endanger the lives” of children who attended church services.

A total of 28 of the 35 letters of complaint each outlined four similar concerns, all slight variants of: “1 – The business will bring or encourage crime and disorderliness in our neighbourhood. 2 – This will result in public nuisance. 3 – This will also result to compromise in public safety in our neighbourhood. 4 – This will endanger the lives of our children that come to church services.”

Another letter, sent on behalf of the church’s board of trustees, stated: “Though we are in a light industrial area, the licence that Bull Hoof Ltd are applying for is of great concern to us. We anticipate that a lot of social vices will be taken (sic) place in the glaring eyes of little children who come to our church services.

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“We are even of more concern about the profile of persons that will be coming very close to us; and some of them will wander into our own premises when they are drunk, and we share the same wall demarcation and side entrance.”

The applicants sent the council’s licensing department a list of 17 proposed conditions which it would include to uphold licensing laws.

Those included a CCTV system and member of staff working at all times who would be able to use the system, as well as a strict over-18s policy and a challenge 25 scheme at the bar.

It added that door staff would be employed when needed, no drinkers would be allowed to leave the premises and that polycarbonate drinking vessels (“plastic glasses”) would be used on the site.

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Ghetto Golf already has three sites around the country. Its website described its Liverpool venue as: “a seriously twisted 18 hole crazy golf experience, an exceptional cocktail bar, top local DJ’s and captivating graffiti artwork.”

A meeting of Leeds City Council’s licensing sub-committee will discuss the plans on Tuesday, January 21.

Richard Beecham, Local Democracy Reporting Service.