Controversial plans to demolish an historic East Ardsley pub have been put on hold for now, after a surprise decision.
Plans for 12 homes to built on the site of the Railway Hotel pub were expected to be approved but planning chiefs voted against the proposal.
The pub is a landmark in the area and has been part of it for more than a century.Coun Robert Finnigan
Developer Burkhard Homes was advised to amend its application to retain the Moor Knoll Lane pub - which could be converted into flats - at Leeds City Council’s South and West Plans Panel meeting last Thursday.
Coun Robert Finnigan, who sits on the plans panel, said: “It was felt by the panel that the pub is an attractive and historical building that is worth retaining.
“There are other buildings that have been converted like this so we don’t see why it can’t be done.
“The pub is a landmark in the area and has been part of it for more than a century.”
It comes after a backlash from residents and councillors who raised concerns about losing the pub.
Developer Burkhard Homes, which is based in Boston, USA, can now either lodge an appeal against the decision or amend its application.
A spokesperson for KMS Consultants and Associates Limited, which is managing the proposal on behalf of the developer, said: “We were quite disappointed at the deferral and we are waiting to get together with Burkhard to see what they want to do.
“Our options are to convert the pub as it is or try and put a case forward that the pub is not historic.
It said an application was approved after an appeal five years ago to demolish and build on the pub site but the developer dropped out.
The spokesperson said: “There will be a time when the pub runs out of money and has to be boarded up and this historic building will be an eyesore then. This is a great opportunity for a decent-sized development.”
The firm said it will discuss a compromise with planners and the developer.