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People power saves Churwell launderette

Staff from Suds with a petition to fight plans to turn the premises into a takeaway, (l-r) Rita Senior, Zakir Patel, Lynne Wanless and Kathy Gwilliam. (d15021103)

Staff from Suds with a petition to fight plans to turn the premises into a takeaway, (l-r) Rita Senior, Zakir Patel, Lynne Wanless and Kathy Gwilliam. (d15021103)

STAFF and customers at a popular Churwell launderette are celebrating after plans to turn their ‘lifeline’ service into a takeaway shop were refused.

An application was submitted to Leeds City Council’s planning committee to turn Suds Launderette on Victoria Road into a hot food takeaway, much to the concern of the community who immediately started a petition against the plans.

But at uts last meeting the committee refused permission.

Firoz Patel, whose family owns Suds, which has been serving the local community for 40 years, said that the decision has been a relief for them, staff and customers.

He said: “Everybody is smiling. All our staff and customers are happy and relieved.”

The council said it refused permission for a takeaway to take over the premises because of fears it would cause disturbance to local residents with late hours and an increase in vehicles and odours coming from the shop.

Another reason for refusal was the proposed car parking layout for 12 cars, which the planning committee said there was inadequate space for.

A petition collected over 700 signatures and many letters of objection were written explaining to the planning committee just how the launderette delivered a vital service to the community.

Mr Patel said: “It was our customers and staff who pushed to make sure this business does go on and for that we want to say a big thank you.

“It really surprised me just how much people were concerned about what could happen and how they wanted us to carry on.

“The amount of people who signed the petition was amazing. Residents went out to get people to sign it and the hairdressers next door had a petition. “So it’s thanks to them really. Thank you for writing letters and signing the petition. We can now carry on for many more years.”

 

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