Last orders called on Morley pub

THE closure of a pub that has served Morley for over 100 years has been described as the "end of an era".

The Sycamore Hotel, on High Street, called last orders for the final time around four months ago and plans are now in place to turn it into a five bedroom house.

The application is now being considered by Leeds City Council's planning chiefs.

Coun Robert Finnigan said the closure of the popular pub was very disappointing, but added if the plans maintained the look of the old building then it could only be a positive thing.

He said: "It really is the end of an era and a lot of people will be sad to see it go - it was a good, solid pub.

"But it's been a difficult financial environment for pubs to cope with and under those circumstances it was very difficult for the Sycamore.

"I think it tried very hard to keep going, but suffered slightly with it being outside the town centre.

"The only pubs that seem to thrive are in town and city centres and even they struggle at times."

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He added that there had been many pub closures recently and said he believed the Sycamore also suffered due to a change in people's drinking habits.

"People tend to go to town centre pubs when they go out and not their local, or they buy their beer or wine from supermarkets and drink from home and that's why local pubs have suffered."

Plans for the building say there would be no external alterations and the existing structure would remain unchanged.

Coun Finnigan said: "It's a great building and a great pity if it had to go, but if it's being converted, keeping the look the same, then that's a very good thing.

"It's a nice building and it would be nice to maintain it, even if its

status changes from a pub to a family home."

It is believed the Sycamore was bought by Tetley's around 1889 and in more recent years has had sporadic periods of opening and closure and the planning committee of Morley Town Council believes the building has no future in being a public house.

It is proposed that access to the building would be from High Street with car and bike parking on the site.