New Wetherspoons to Ban Otley Runs

Plans to construct a JD Wetherspoons Pub in Headingley have been granted by Leeds City Council. However, the pub will have regulations to ensure it doesn’t encourage further anti-social behaviour in the area. As part of this, the pub will not permit ‘Otley Runners’ (large groups in fancy dress) to enter the premises. 

The pub has also been prevented from having loud entertainment or music- in order to reduce its impact on local residents. JD Wetherspoons have stated their desires to make the site a ‘food-led establishment’ and aim to be a family friendly pub. In addition to these restrictions, the Wetherspoons pub will have opening times of: Sun-Thurs 9am-10:30pm and Fri-Sat 9am-11pm. 

These restrictions follow previous rejections of the plans (in 2016) due to The Headingley Network community group’s oppositional concerns over alcohol-related antisocial behaviour and a potential threat of security and encouraged crime in the area. 

A spokesperson for Leeds City Council said that:

“The council has granted an application by JD Wetherspoon PLC for the grant of a premises license for the former Elinor Lupton Centre on Headingley Lane. Our Decision has taken into account various representations from residents, business owners and local councillors. We have also carefully considered the relevant legislation and statutory guidance, as well as the council’s own licensing policy.

The terms of the license we have granted in order to reduce the risk of the operation of the premises leading to public nuisance or crime and disorder. One of these conditions is that the premises will not permit entry to people it has reason to believe are participating in the Otley Run. Going forward, we will continue working with the premises to ensure it complies with the conditions of its license”

In reaction to the granted planning permission, Eddie Gershon a Wetherspoons spokesperson responded with:

“We are delighted permission has been granted for the site in Headingley. We are as keen as ever to open a pub on the site and believe it will be an asset to the area.”

The proposed site for the Wetherspoons is located on Headingley Lane, adjacent to Richmond Road. The Grade II listed Elinor Lupton Centre was bought by JD Wetherspoons in 2014, but the company faced issues with obtaining an alcohol license for the site. Although planning permission was granted for the site in 2019, the alcohol permission license was only granted this month. Previously the building was owned by Leeds Girls’ High School until 2004, following the merge of the school into Leeds Grammar School. The site has been unoccupied since 2010. 

Eddie Gershon added:

“We also believe that it will act as a catalyst for further investment for the area. We thank all those people who supported the application over the years.”