Controversial east Leeds pub plan goes back to the drawing board AGAIN

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A controversial plan for a Wetherspoons pub in a former doctor’s surgery building has been sent back to the drawing board for the second time.

The firm wants to turn the derelict and boarded up building in Austhorpe Road, Crossgates, into a family pub with beer garden.

However there were more than 500 objections to the plan from locals worried about traffic and noise implications.

There were also more than 220 letters of support for the scheme.

However at a tense and at times emotional meeting at Leeds Civic Hall earlier today (Thursday), a plans panel decided to defer its decision for further talks with Wetherspoons over concerns about noise, loading and deliveries.

There, was, however, broad approval for regenerating the “eyesore”.

Jamie Pyper, agent for Wetherspoons, told the panel that the pub would bring “significant benefits to the local area”, would be “family friendly” and would create 50 full and part time jobs.

“These proposals will be an asset, not a hindrance, to the local area,” he said.

And reacting to concerns that a dentist’s surgery which sits on the first floor of the same building would be exposed to unacceptable noise and drink-fuelled anti social behaviour, he said other similar outlets in “sensitive” areas “sit side by side” with other businesses.

He said the firm even had one pub in Hampshire which is next to a chapel of rest.

Objector Eamonn Judge, from the Crossgates Watch residents’ association, had raised ongoing concerns about noise and traffic levels.

However Steven Naylor, a resident of Church Lane, near the site, said that despite the high number of objection letters, there was actually “overwhelming” support from many locals, with people welcoming “a respectable family amenity for the local community”.

Councillor Neil Walshaw, who chairs the North and East Plans Panel, said there were some issues with the application as it stands, but added the problems “don’t seem to be insurmountable”.

“We need to balance the economic and regeneration benefits against the issues of traffic and loading,” he said.

The panel deferred its final decision until its next meeting.