District judge bows to pressure from small campaign group in license refusal

A small team of anti-fun campaigners are Googling “how to celebrate” this morning, following a judge’s decision to refuse JD Wetherspoon a licence to serve alcohol in the grade-two listed Elinor Lupton Centre on Headingley Lane.

Spoons has had plans to turn the property - which has been derelict since 2010 - into a 500-capacity pub and community hub since 2007, but permission to serve booze has been granted and redacted back and forth ever since, thanks to court appeals by a group of local residents who apparently really hate pints.

A bit of urban decay #leeds #headingley #graffiti #door #urbandecay
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Planning application to turn the rotting former concert hall into a boozer was rejected in 2015 by Leeds City Council, but as we reported last year, the decision was overturned following an appeal from Wetherspoons. Plans hit another snag soon after, when the alcohol license was denied the following month.

Deciding district judge Mallon - who has clearly never step foot in a Spoons in her life - claimed “fundamental contradiction” in Wetherspoons’ application, saying:

“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 for 17 spaces; it wants to encourage a food-led approach while offering shots at three for £5. The court does not doubt the honesty of the Appellant’s case but it is contradicted by the evidence.”

With all due respect, your honour:

  1. There’s a difference between a student pub and a pub that students happen to visit.

  2. Us proles get this thing called an “Amber taxi” when we want to go somewhere far away: it’s like your horse-drawn carriage but with Capital Radio

  3. The provision of shots and a food-led approach are not mutually exclusive. You’ve never had an aperitif, an amuse bouche, and a digestif with a meal?

One resident who lives near the sad corpse of a former community hub reckons “Local residents are absolutely delighted. It is the wrong application in the wrong place.” And hoped that it will brought back into use for the local community - you know, like if it was a pub or something.

Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “We are disappointed with the decision. There has been a lot of support for the pub from people in the area. We are considering the judgment carefully before deciding on our next steps.”

If anybody wants to join our Anti-Anti-Spoons-Campaigners Campaign group, meet us at the Stick or Twist where we’ll come up with an action plan over two pitchers for £12. Tomorrow at 10am.