Check out today’s YEP letters
Wetherspoon’s plan halted: your views
Campaigners are celebrating after a judge upheld the decision to refuse J D Wetherspoon an alcohol licence for the grade-two listed Elinor Lupton Centre in Headingley. The pub chain’s long-running bid to turn the building into a 500-capacity venue has taken another twist after a district judge at Leeds Magistrates’ Court sided with Leeds City Council and campaigners in refusing to issue the all-important booze licence. Wetherspoon’s were appealing the council’s licensing panel decision of December 2016 and a company spokesman told the YEP they are “disappointed” are now considering their next steps. It is the latest development in the saga which dates back to when Wetherspoon’s first expressed an interest in the former concert hall in 2007. We asked YEP readers for their views on the decision and here’s what some of them said ..
Richard Tyler, Buckingham Estate Association of Residents, via email
The judge who dismissed Wetherspoon’s appeal pointed out that their application for a pub licence at the Elinor Lupton Centre in Headingley was based on three contradictions: “It does not want to be a student pub and wants to appeal to local residents, yet two thirds of these are students; it wants to bring in customers from elsewhere, but has a car park with 17 spaces; it wants to encourage a food-led approach, while offering shots at 3 for £5.”
And on top of that, they had no measures proposed to deal with the impact in a residential area.
Richard Freestone, via Facebook
I understand their argument about having enough pubs, but it’s a building that is going to waste, looks terrible and is on the main bus route from Leeds to Headingley.
It needs something done with it – if Wetherspoon’s wants it, let them have it.
C Beels, Leeds 6
Wetherspoon’s yes, a branch in Headingley yes, but not directly on the route known across the UK as the Otley Run!
Wetherspoon’s are usually a family-friendly chain serving good quality food in a pleasant atmosphere. But that wasn’t the plan for this particular outlet. It was to be for student drinkers – hundreds of them at a time.
Headingley has no need of a mega pub, as Leeds City Council recognised when it put the Cumulative Impact Policy in place to support local residents in a balanced community.
Clint Porteus, via Facebook
In the absence of any other proposals, Wetherspoon’s would be a better option than a derelict building.
Why not create accommodation instead of concreting more greenfield?
Kimberley Hoyle, via Facebook
Yes, there are a lot of bars in Headingley but look at the jobs people have through the bars.
The building looks a mess, yet it could be a nice family bar through the day and something for adults in the evening.
People just moan for nothing at times.
Niki Clowes, via Facebook
What a shame. Yes there’s loads of pubs in Headingley but there’s loads of people too.
We had this in Garforth and fortunately after a long fight Wetherspoon’s got the go ahead and the disused building is now a lovely pub that greets all ages at all times of day and does look lovely. Hate to see buildings rot like this.
Rick Poppa, via Facebook
So yet another amazing building in Leeds stays boarded up and decaying just because some do-gooders try to stand in the way of progress.
Jaymie Leigh Adams, via Facebook
So let me guess this will be another building left to rot because a small number of people objected to it being restored and actually used? What a joke and waste of a beautiful building.
Titch Goodwin, via Facebook
Well if the objectors win and turn it into a community hub I hope they understand how much it costs to run, it isn’t cheap.
Also why wasn’t there any public objection to the Head of Steam opening their bar at North Lane? That is near houses and is on a main road. I hope Wetherspoon’s keep fighting.
Allison Butterfield, via Facebook
Having a Wetherspoon’s would have been brilliant for the area.
However I understand the residents’ concerns, late night noise etc.
It will most likley be turned into luxury flats or demolished as a previous person said.
Such a shame.
Ashley Fensome, via Facebook
Who are these people who complain?
The same thing is happening with the proposals to build a Wetherspoon’s in Cross Gates.
The building is an eyesore. Wetherspoon’s will turn it into something useful.
If I was told there’s going to be one of these being built in my area I’d jump for joy.
Alex B Cann , via Facebook
Love to hear local residents’ alternative plans. It’s been derelict since 2010. Surely better for it to be used?
Em Louise , via Facebook
The problem here is that no-one else can apply to make it anything else whilst this is on going.
Headingley doesn’t need any more bars / pubs despite how nice it might have been restored.
Not sure what the answer is but I don’t think Wetherspoon’s was the holy grail some are suggesting.
Jonathan Gray, via Facebook
It’s a lovely building, Wetherspoon’s would have done a lovely job of restoring the building. I know what I’d rather have.
David Shavie Bairstow, via Facebook
My first thought was ‘do we really need another pub?’ but Wetherspoon’s do look after their buildings.