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Elinor Lupton Centre

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Kate Z, Jun 15, 2015.

  1. Kate Z

    Kate Z Member

    Hi all, not sure if this has already been posted on here or not but, in case - the listed building & planning applications for Wetherspoons' proposed development of the Elinor Lupton Centre on Headingley Lane are available for the next few days on Public Access for comment.

    The Elinor Lupton centre is an amazing space and it could become a real cultural, educational and community gem again with local input and a different usage. The applications are here: https://publicaccess.leeds.gov.uk/onlin ... =firstPage
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  3. bash

    bash Member

    for what its worth i don't think its a suitable site for spoons, there will inevitably be drinkers spilling out into the street (dare I say it, the road)

    but i am not sure anyone can object on the grounds that it would be better used as something else. While that may be true, who is funding any proposed development other than a pub? not leeds council thats for sure.

    the question isn't "what should this building be used for" it is, "should this pub be allowed to happen or not"

    my overwhelming opinion is if it isn't a wetherspoons it won't be anything. that may be a good thing though!

    the exact same argument happens over the proposed morrisons site in Chapel Allerton. The locals are always like "this could be an amazing community space". I think it should be as well, but where will funding come from? Sadly only big business has the funds to seriously progress and develop significant sites. Morrisons bought just the site without planning permission for over £3 million.

    Spoons would be investing hundreds of thousands, if not over a million into getting it up and running. These are the kinds of sums required to repurpose such historic buildings and sites properly.
  4. AgentW

    AgentW Member

    Wetherspoons wouldn't have paid £1.4m (the sum reported at the time) for the site without having a discussion about licensing with the council first.

    If I seem to be suggesting that the licence is a done deal, then I'll plead guilty to accusations of cynicism.
  5. GregB

    GregB Active Member

    and now they are offloading it again

    http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/n ... -1-7308709
  6. Broady

    Broady Member

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    To be fair to Wetherspoons they restore old buildings to a good standard. Better than letting it rot on a major road like it is now. If a community group could get £1mil to buy it I'm sure the council would welcome them.
  7. Suebeedoo

    Suebeedoo Member

    Favourite Bands:
    Die Video Die
    Headingley already has the Heart community centre. I know it isnt really a performance space like Elinor Lupton Centre is though.

    I dont believe that a Wetherspoons will be detrimental to the area. It will create jobs and they will restore and maintain the building. I do not believe that people "spilling out into the street" will be much worse than the droves of Otley runners going up the street. I don't think it will present any noise issues. I would be more concerned about student house parties in the streets around the pub than the pub itself if I wanted to live there/already lived there.

    It could be a welcome change to the student-orientated pubs in the area and may even, you never know, provide a place for families to eat and drink.

    If it isnt a Wetherspoons, it'll end up falling into disrepair, be bulldozed by the council and replaced with a block of flats like many other historical buildings in Leeds!

    I do however, appreciate the affect that a Wetherspoons may have on the surrounding pubs...but last time I checked they were mostly, if not all owned by the likes of Punch Taverns, Enterprise and Greene King anyway.
  8. bongobenny

    bongobenny Well-Known Member

    'WE'VEENOUGHPUBSTHANKS' - I saw this photo and found it a bit annoying.

    Firstly, how can a bunch of people that probably don't like pubs make that statement? 'Isn't there enough pubs?..That's a far less arrogant.

    Secondly 21% of that lineup can't get served in a pub. They're either under 18, or a dog, so they can do one automatically. Add to this the fact that you have adults forcing their children into attending something that they may grow up to disagree with is abhorrent, but as they are too young to hold this opinion because they can't get a beer anyway then this is pretty much irrelevant.

    Thirdly. I take it none of these dullards have ever done the Otley run but that gap between the Hyde Park and the Original Oak is far too long and means that there is an increased danger of pissheads falling in the street between pubs. Sticking a pub in the middle makes sense.

    Fourthly, if you don't want to live near a load of pubs then **** off out of Headingley you miserly bunch of boring bastards. Move to harehills, all of our pubs have been closed and turned into flats and supermarkets..This forces me to go to The Brown Hare where the other day some guy was having a mental breakdown and I thought I was going to get glassed.

    Other than that yes it could have been an arts centre or something but they decided to turn it into a pub. Get over it. Makes Headingley a slightly cheaper night out.

  9. Kate Z

    Kate Z Member

    Some really interesting points here, though there are quite a few misconceptions that keep cropping up, so just in case anyone is interested!:

    @Bash - No, absolutely, the planning applications themselves show problems in terms of local consideration and council policy which really should knock it out of the running on that basis as a stand-alone - however an alternative usage is definitely an important consideration in the response to the proposals. The two questions you have posed have to be two sides of the same coin in any decision to refuse or accept a proposal. Likewise, in this context, I think what you have said about only big business having the finance isn't strictly true - only big businesses have access to that finance at relatively short notice. With the ELC, its listed status and history as a community building means there is finance available and we (as the Leeds Music Hub) had already secured some feasibility funding but (speaking from my experience over the several months of our applications proceeding the sale to Wetherspoons in August), it's more timescale we couldn't compete with, which is a slightly different issue (and the thinking behind the Localism act, too, of giving community groups time to raise funds as an alternative to commercial repurposing of community buildings). Interesting example of the Morrisons in Chapel A - Greg B's link is a bit of a sad outcome of a very similar set of problems to the ELC and the community context.

    @Agent W - yes, I think you may be on to something there! Not the figure I've heard but definitely looking at the application there are more complexities at work in terms of Wetherspoons than I think any of us are aware of. Not to cast aspersions.

    @Broady and Suebeedoo - it's not been the council at fault with the sale of ELC. The building was still owned by Leeds Grammar and different departments in the council have serious concerns about the development, anyway. Agree that Wetherspoons' business plan is predicated on taking on old building and bringing them back into use but with this, all they propose to save is the exterior, not any of the interior & its amazing auditorium and, as a result, obviously not preserving the intention of the space as a cultural and educational building either, which to me is part of its inherent value. A different proposal would preserve both aspects and still create jobs, contribute to the local economy etc - with far fewer negatives and a whole host of community benefits. I think there's also an issue over the precedent it creates - such a prominent building could set the tone for the whole local area and also an acceptance of this proposal would pave the way for more developments of a similar nature and further bed-in the problematic student-local resident fractions.
    If you have a look at the proposals (including wanting a container bar to the exterior), it's not going to end up a family-friendly pub. Something like this would be an asset in town (where wetherspoons have just opened another pub of a similar intention, which is a much better fit) but it's not a sensible match for Headingley. I don't think the upshot of a Wetherspoons refusal would be flats/bulldozing, given how many other people have good proposals for it and have made strides in securing finance (including a working group from former City Varieties people and The Ladybird Project, too).

    @Bongo Benny - afraid I couldn't drive-by any of the people in the photo - don't think I know them or whether they like pubs! From my point of view, it's not the pub industry in general that's even remotely the problem!! It's a really important part of local infrastructure. The thing you say about Harehills is bang on the money, though - and that's another example of where a bad mix of proposals have had a negative impact on a community. In this case, too few pubs, rather than Headingley which probably does have market saturation in that department but, more importantly, has a building that is designed and intended for something which Headingley doesn't really offer at the moment at all - and obviously I'm biased from my involvement in grassroots music/arts to think that the good stuff going on in Leeds should have the kind of scope of support that the ELC would offer.
    Sorry about your near-glassing! Scary stuff.
  10. jamesthecat

    jamesthecat Member

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    Sticking a pub in the middle makes sense because instead of falling into the street they can fall into a pub, and then out of it back onto the street after a couple of jars. As ever, the voice of reason.

    Besides, the point is not anti-pub, it's pro something else that would be far more useful to the local community and Leeds as a whole.

    Unless everybody on here really wants to do the Otley run and stop off at the big Whetherspoons (only a dullard would turn down such an opportunity) it only takes 5 minutes to speak out against it in favour of an alternative. Give somebody else the chance to provide something that would benefit the community far more.

    P.S I tried to pop in the Brown Hare for a beer last week but they were having a lock in, at about 10.30pm with all the lights on and the curtains open...
  11. Staypuff

    Staypuff Active Member

    It's all very well saying this could be better used for community projects but if the money isn't there (and, thanks to the great Tory-voting public it's unlikely to be there for some time) then all you've got is a derelict building. I'm no great fan of Wetherspoons but at least they're putting money into the building and bringing something to the local area.

    We have a similar situation in Knaresborough: a couple of years ago Wetherspoons bought out The Crown, a notorious local shithole. There were the usual cries of "They'll kill the local pub trade", but that hasn't happened. They've done a fantastic job restoring it, the other local pubs have upped their game and, from speaking to the landlady at my local over the weekend, they've actually seen trade increase. Same with the Wetherspoons in Harrogate, stunning building brilliantly restored and maintained by Wetherspoons. By contrast there's The Yorkshire Lass, a derelict pub in a fantastic location, arguably the most prime of prime real estate in Knaresborough, right by the river. Over the years numerous people have come in for it and been knocked back because the planners want "the right project for the community". Now it's beyond repair, nobody will touch it because of the amount it will cost to restore so it's just sitting there like an eyesore.

    It's great to have ideals, but sometimes you have to accept compromises.
  12. johnnycasual!

    johnnycasual! Member

    It's about time Headingley had somewhere that working class Leeds born folk can go without feeling like they are second class citizens or not welcome at all. I hope that Wetherspoons get the go ahead myself.
  13. cavie

    cavie Member

    I'm working class Leeds born folk and I don't feel unwelcome in any pub in Headingley. There are some I don't like but I certainly don't feel like a second class citizen in any of them.

    The Elinor Lupton could become a real community asset (and I mean for the *whole* community not just students/'Leeds born working class folk'/whoever). Or, you know, we could have another pub, albeit one that sells booze cheaper than the other six, 100 yards away.
  14. jamesthecat

    jamesthecat Member

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    I'm a cynic myself and would say similar things if there was no hint at an alternative...

    I'm really not pro-derelict building, but the point is, if they plan to gut the inside anyway, losing a pre-existing space specifically designed to accommodate arts and education (i.e auditorium, rooms, acoustics etc.) then that's gone forever.

    If it sat derelict for another 5 years and the roof caved in, Wetherspoons could still turn it into a pub...

    But right now, going back to the original point of the post...

  15. Staypuff

    Staypuff Active Member

    Not if it's no longer economically viable to do so, hence my point about The Yorkshire Lass in Knaresborough. As far as I'm aware there is no evidence to suggest that derelict buildings are of benefit to an area so the gamble of leaving a building which has been empty for 5 years until it's a complete wreck and hoping someone else will still be interested is quite a leap of faith.
  16. bongobenny

    bongobenny Well-Known Member

    Yeah I know. I think the photo just annoyed me a little bit so I got carried away at the end. I think I could lose the entire end of my post...

    I've done the Otley run a good few times and never at that point in it am I drunk yet I always see people between Headingley and Hyde Park wasted. How do they get that wrecked. It's only about the 5th pub in or something.
  17. Kate Z

    Kate Z Member

    I think this is probably the key thing. I agree with what Staypuff says completely, too - only it doesn't apply to the Elinor Lupton Centre, as it's not really a gamble or "what-if"-kind of situation... by which I mean there are at least three other viable, community (and no, those two things aren't necessarily mutually exclusive!) business plans for the building, that I know of. For the sake of being really clear of alternatives, I think I'm okay to name the other two, as they are referenced in various public places anyway - Ladybird Project and a working group ex-Leeds City Varieties individuals - both of which have access right off the bat to business/personal finance to make an offer not far off the market value/asking price. Plus me/us as the Leeds Music Hub - I had been going down the grant funding route and had already secured a grant which put us at the first stage of a narrative of funding from SIB for asset purchase and being able to bid competitively as a community/not-for-profit group for an asset with local relevance and value. I also had positive pre-application discussions with Heritage Lottery, but that all had to be put on hiatus once Wetherspoons bought the building (and also worth pointing out that they've actually not stemmed the tide of damage, so to speak, since their purchase 9 months ago, either - all they've done is board over the doors and leave it be, I think there's actually less protection for the building than when it was the grammar school and the agent's responsibility). My continuation grant work is also blocked, as I'd be laughed out of town if I were to continue with my funding bids on a building that is currently owned by Wetherspoons!
    In essence, any outcome that at least presses pause on Wetherspoons' development, from my point of view, REALLY would represent an opportunity to turn the ELC back into the space for arts & education that it once was. In case anyone is interested, my plans for the space were to transfer and expand what the Hub already does (cafe/social space, music lessons, local record shop and events including seminars/workshops and so on, basically an multi-functional open space for local music), as well as bringing other Leeds organisations on board as rehearsal studios and recording studios, so there's even more sense of it being a hub or focal point. And of course having that amazing auditorium space for live performances, but still with the same ethos as we have here of it being an alternative to the usual late-night venues, which have become relatively narrow and exclude a whole host of different cultures/subcultures/ages/backgrounds etc etc. Having a building of that scope to do this kind of project to help underpin the local music scene (or performing arts of different sorts, if we're talking about the other 2 community bids) I think has the potential to have a really huge impact on what we have here as a music community in Leeds.
  18. johnnycasual!

    johnnycasual! Member

    Just to clarify, the building has only been used for the arts/performances since it has been part of Leeds Girls High/Leeds Grammar, so that's since the mid 1980's. Before then it was built as a church, so that is it's original purpose. It may be suitable as a space for the arts, but it hasn't always been this way!

    A private school is always going to go with whoever offers the most money to buy the building, so no surprises there.

    I do think it is a bit short sighted to persuade people to oppose the granting of a licence for the building, and seems a bit of a throwing ones toys out of the pram exercise due to it not being possible for you to have the building for what you want it for. The people I've seen kicking up a fuss about this happening online are ones who have been tried and have been turned down to get the building to open venues/art spaces etc. If you get what you want and the licence isn't granted, do you think that Wetherspoons will want to deal with organisations who very publicly supported campaigns against them? I must say I don't.

    Do you have anything online about what you propose to do if you were to get the building? You've not posted any links to your own proposals for the building. It might be good to put them up so we could see them here.
  19. jamesthecat

    jamesthecat Member

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    In it's current state the interior of the building is constructed and designed to be a fully functioning arts and education space. Not a pub/ Or a Church.

    Kate Z's original post was not trying to persuade anyone to do anything, she was pointing people in the direction of the comment section on the public access planning page. No one has thrown their toys out of the pram or kicked up a fuss. Hopefully one or two people in here might have commented against it. That'd be nice.

    I think it should be turned into a church and stay true to the architects original intentions. God forbid somebody might have a better idea for it.

    Or maybe I want to see it turned into a pub where you can teach punk rock music to children. Compromise.
  20. johnnycasual!

    johnnycasual! Member

    But that isn't it's original purpose, and to say that it is is incorrect. There's no need to try and mislead people who aren't aware of the buildings history in order to present a stronger case for a particular scheme. The scheme should be good enough to stand on its own without having to resort to that.

    I can think of at least one high profile local business owner who has done so, they posted stuff online about how it is such a bad thing for a Wetherspoons to be in the area and how it must be stopped, yet they had previously looked at it with view to opening a new bar/music venue?
  21. doc

    doc Active Member

    is it a well known well used art centre ?
    have hear of and been to heart, oblong and the hub all nearby but not this one.........

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