Leeds United pub The Drysalters saved by Leeds Council for a second time from being turned into Costa Coffee

Costa have had their second attempt to turn a Leeds United pub into a coffee shop rejected.

Friday, 11th June 2021, 4:45 pm

The chain want to turn The Drysalters into a drive-thru, but their plans have been met with widespread opposition from the community.

More than 100 people submitted objections to the initial plans in August of last year.

Leeds City Council rejected Costa's plan, but they appealed against the decision - which was again rejected last month.

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Leeds United pub The Drysalters.

Based just round the corner from Elland Road, the pub is used by home and away fans.

It is also close to Cottingley Crematorium and is used often by mourners for wakes.

The agent for Costa Coffee has claimed the pub had become "increasingly unprofitable", but Leeds City Council officers have said no evidence has been provided to back this up.

In the council's decision report, the officers note that Leeds United s promotion to the Premier League means crowd numbers are "expected to be strong and conditions good for the venue to sustainably trade."

Leeds United pub The Drysalters.

They add: "The loss for football fans appears to be significant too and the venue appears to provide a welcome site for converging fans from both Leeds and further afield including away fans.

"This is considered would reduce significantly the ability to meet and alongside other general visits made for drinking, eating and accessing live music, this would compromise the day to day needs of the community whether a Friday night, Saturday afternoon or Monday lunchtime for example."

The number of pubs in south Leeds has been gradually decreasing over the years, with the Woodman Inn also having been closed and turned into a drive-thru coffee shop in the last few years.

The council report added: "It is evident that the Cottingley estate is now devoid of any ‘drinking establishment’ venues having seen the Cottingley Arms (set within the small precinct on the estate) having closed down a few years ago."

Hayley Guy, who set up the 'Save the Salters' campaign.

Hayley Guy, who used to work at the pub, has spearheaded the 'Save the Salters' campaign to protect it.

She said: "I’m pleased that Leeds city council has once again, rejected Costa’s proposal to demolish one of last remaining public houses in the south Leeds area.

"Especially since Leeds United were promoted to the Premier League last season, through the pandemic, and fans could potentially return to the ground when the new season begins in August.

"I hope the pub will once again become the heart of the community, working alongside other establishments in the area, to bring back that 'normality' that we are so desperate to have back."

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