Residents fight new Leeds pub plans

Protestors against the new Wetherspoons outside the Elinor Lupton Centre.
Protestors against the new Wetherspoons outside the Elinor Lupton Centre.
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campaigners in Headingley are fighting to prevent a planned Wetherspoons pub from obtaining a licence to sell alcohol at a former concert hall in the residential heart of the area.

J.D. Wetherspoon bought the Grade II-listed Elinor Lupton Centre, on Headingley Lane, in 2014 and wants to turn the site into a 1,000 capacity venue.

The planning applications were initially rejected by the council in 2015 but in September this year the national pub chain won its appeal.

But the company still needs to obtain a licence to sell alcohol on the premises, a matter which the council will decide on at a hearing in Leeds Civic Hall tomorrow.

This means that J.D. Wetherspoon will have to convince a licensing panel that there will be no additional crime and disorder, anti-social behaviour, harm to children or risk to public safety.

Protestors claim the venue would be a nuisance to local residents and pose a potential threat to security in the area.

The Headingley Network community group has urged opponents to the plan to attend the meeting to voice their concerns. The organisation’s chair, Lesley Jeffries, said: “Turning this licence application down is a no-brainer.

“The building is on a very busy stretch of the main road, far from the town centre of Headingley and in the middle of a large area of residential housing. We are asking the licensing panel to uphold the safety and security of Headingley residents by rejecting this application.”

A spokesman for J.D. Wetherspoon said the company was keen to open a new pub in the area and stressed it currently has “excellent” relationships with local residents across its 950 locations.