In 2014, JD Wetherspoon bought The Elinor Lupton Centre on Headingley lane with intentions of turning it into a 500-capacity venue. They won an appeal in September against Leeds City Council’s decision to reject the initial planning applications.
As The Gryphon reported in October, JD Wetherspoon applied for a pub licence, following their successful appeal. On Friday however, a licensing panel refused to grant them a licence to sell alcohol on the premises, on the view that it would have a negative impact within the community.
In the panel’s decision document, it stated that “In the committee’s view, the application would be likely to add to the cumulative impact on the crime and disorder and public nuisance objectives”.
Local residents have battled against the plans to turn this grade II listed building into a pub, claiming that the new “super pub” would be a potential threat to security in the area. Many concerns were expressed in a pre-application community consultation in February, such as the principle of its use being another pub on the “Otley Road Run”, which local residents believe will cause potential anti-social behaviour in the local residential area.
Lesley Jeffries, Chair of Headingley Network community association, stated: “This is a triumph for common-sense and we are delighted that the council’s licensing panel made a decision favouring local residents over big business. The panel has recognised that this community suffers enough from the consequences of alcohol consumption and has put a stop to the expansion of vertical drinking in our area.”
A spokesperson for JD Wetherspoon responded to the decision, stating: “We are disappointed with the decision but are grateful for the careful consideration given to our application. We are considering the full decision and will decide what our next steps will be once we have done so.”