Wetherspoons wants to serve booze from 9am every day at new pub in Leeds suburb

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PIC: PA
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Wetherspoons has defended plans to serve alcohol seven days a week from 9am at a new pub in Leeds.

The pub giant has already has plans accepted to bring a former dental surgery in Austhorpe Road, Cross Gates, back into use as a drinking establishment.

But the site still needs a licence from Leeds City Council to serve alcohol.

And the company has defended its decision to ask for permission to serve alcohol from the morning until 11pm on Sunday-Thursday and until midnight on Friday and Saturday.

Wetherspoons spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “ A high number of our pubs are licensed to serve alcohol from 9am.

“Our pubs are popular with customers from opening time, with the emphasis on serving breakfast and hot drinks.

“Although alcohol sales before 11am are not high in our pubs, there are some people, for example those working night shifts, who want an alcoholic drink in the morning.

“We are happy to serve them in our pubs.”

The council’s licensing committee has received 18 letters of objection to the license, which site opening hours, parking and noise nuisance as reasons why the licence should be turned down.

One letter claimed the pub’s location would “encourage the coalescence of different groups from all pubs (in the area), accentuating the risk of affrays and malicious damage to surrounding properties.”

But Cross Gates and Whinmoor councillor Pauleen Grahame (Lab) said many of these issues had been sorted out.

“This is a standard applications for Wetherspoons,” she said. “I have spoken to them and they have no issues in the centre of Leeds with the opening times.

“In the morning, they take most of their money through breakfasts.

“If there were any problems the licence would be taken away.

“We are addressing all the issues that have gone forward. This could bring jobs to the area – hopefully for local people.”

The Planning Inspectorate had approved plans for the site earlier this year after council committee members did not make a decision on the site – despite it twice going before planning panels.

The company appealed to the Government last year before the plan – first submitted in summer 2016 – was due to be discussed at committee for a third time.

The Government-appointed inspector had also ordered the council to pay the pub company’s costs for the appeals process after finding the authority acted “unreasonably”.

The licence application will go before Leeds City Council’s licensing sub-committee on Tuesday, July 24.