Wetherspoons now appeal to Government in saga over Leeds pub plan

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Controversial plan to build a Wetherspoons pub at a former doctor’s surgery in Cross Gates has been taken to the next level as the company has appealed to the Government to approve it.

The proposal, which has divided opinion in the community, could have been approved or rejected at a Leeds City Council meeting last month.

But the decision was deferred for the second time so that further talks could take place with Wetherspoons over concerns about noise, loading and deliveries at the Austhorpe Road site – issues that many objectors are concerned about.

The company has now taken the unusual step of appealing to the Planning Inspectorate before the council’s North and East Plans Panel has even made its decision.

Coun Janette Walker, an independent for the Cross Gates and Whinmoor ward, said that the committee’s failure to make a decision before now was “an utterly humiliating state of affairs for our city”.

She said: “Is it acceptable that an authority the size of Leeds can’t make a decision on a pub?”

Coun Walker wants to see the pub built but with restrictions on parking, hours of operation and with sound proofing to be carried out.

Wetherspoons spokesman Eddie Gershon said the company was “committed” and “keen as ever” to create the two-floor pub and beer garden.

He said: “We are fully aware that there are some objections but conversely there were lots and lot of people who wanted a pub, many referring to the one nearby in Garforth.”

These people want investment and employment in the area, he added.

Coun Neil Walshaw, the panel’s chair, told the last meeting that issues with the plan “don’t seem to be insurmountable”.