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New lease of life for The Rising Sun pub as coffee bar and flats plan approved

Exclusive by John Baron

A former Kirkstall Road pub which has suffered from floods, fire and vandalism is set for a new lease of life

Council planners this week approved plans to change the upper floors of The Rising Sun to six apartments and altering the ground floor pub into a coffee bar and lounge – five years after the proposals were first submitted.

A council report says the application has been ‘revised in some detail’ since the original proposals in 2018 and shows a car park with a total of 25 spaces split between staff and customers of the coffee bar and the residential apartments. 

“A new active and sustainable use in the short, medium and long term is critical to ensure this prominent and important asset in the Burley community can be enjoyed for many more years to come,” the report said.

“The use as a public house has been abandoned a number of years ago but importantly this commercial re-use of the building would retain an ability for conversion back into this original use if ever desired again.”

The report says that the new uses are sympathetic to the original layout and configuration of the former public house. The plans, submitted by Nottingham-based Nick Ackroyd, were approved subject to a raft of 28 planning conditions.

The building has been previously on the Leeds Listed Buildings ‘at Risk’ Register.

The Rising Sun pub in Kirkstall Road. Photo: Google maps/Google Street View

Building’s history

A Joshua Tetley Heritage Inn built at the turn of the 19th century, The Rising Sun was once a busy pub at the heart of the local community. The Grade II Listed landmark pub closed in 2009.

The Rising Sun was severely damaged by fire in 2013, has suffered from vandalism and drug use and its downstairs was left under several feet of water when the River Aire flooded on Boxing Day 2015.

The pub, which dates back to around 1895, reopened as a second-hand furniture shop in 2011.

Plans to de-list the late Victorian pub’s historic internal features and transform the building into six flats were refused by Leeds City Council planners in 2017. Planners said at the time the proposals to remove internal fittings would cause ‘substantial harm to the special character and significance of the listed interiors’.

The Grade II listed building featured on Leeds City Council’s ‘at risk’ list until it was taken off without explanation in 2018 and has also come to the attention of civic watchdog Leeds Civic Trust, who would want to see it brought back into use.

There have been a variety of plans to resurrect the Grade II Listed building over the years, including one – refused by the council in 2017 – to de-list its interior and turn it into apartments.

Read more of our ongoing coverage on the future of the Rising Sun Pub here.

The plans can be viewed in full here.



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