Flats plan at Lower Wortley ‘eyesore’ bookies site

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The site used to be occupied by William Hill, but has been empty for three years. Picture from Google Maps (2022).

By David Spereall, local democracy reporter

An “eyesore” former bookies in west Leeds could be given a new lease of life as a block of flats.

The former William Hill shop in Lower Wortley, off the A6110 ring road, has been empty since 2020 and has been the target of vandalism and graffiti in the years since.

But now the shop and the house directly behind it, on Branch Place, could be converted into a three-storey block of six flats if Leeds City Council approves the planning application.

A developer had originally wanted to put up a four-storey building, with nine separate residential apartments.

But that idea was scaled down after they were warned this would be too big by planning officers from Leeds City Council, who were concerned about the impact on the adjoining row of two-storey terraced homes.

The home, on Branch Place in Lower Wortley, behind the old William Hill shop. This alsoforms part of the proposed development site. Photo: Google.

A design and access statement, put forward on the applicant’s behalf, said both the former bookies and the house to the rear “are in a dilapidated and neglected state with graffiti present externally.”

It added that the plans would “enhance” the area, “by replacing the currently derelict bookmakers which can only be classed as an eyesore, and therefore eradicate any harmful impacts on adjacent properties and reduce the  opportunity for crime and anti-social behaviour”.

Under the plans, charging points for six electric vehicles would be installed as part of the development and space for 16 bikes would be provided.

There are also proposals for a communal space with “planted greenery and seating”, according to the applicant, which would  “allow for views and interaction” with the neighbouring Wortley Beck.

A decision on the plans is likely to be made by the city council later this year.

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