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Bid to save 'iconic' landmark Otley cafe from being demolished
Councillors are calling upon planners to reject a bid to demolish “an iconic Otley landmark”.
Gladman Care Homes Ltd have submitted proposals to build a 48-flat development on a former school site off Bridge Street.
The scheme would see part two, part three, and part four-storey homes built on the old All Saints Middle School plot, an area that has been branded an eyesore for years.
But the plan also involves demolishing Dunnies, a riverside cafe that has become one of the town’s most popular destinations since opening in 1925, and the adjoining Wharfe View News.
Councillor Ryk Downes (Lib Dem, Otley & Yeadon) said that should be resisted: “Dunnies is a landmark building in Otley, which is why I asked last year for it to be Listed.”
Fellow Lib Dem ward Councillor Sandy Lay added: “Generations of Otley residents, along with thousands of cyclists, have fond memories of a mug of tea and bacon sandwich at Dunnies.
“This is a building which is famous throughout the county and beyond. Its loss would leave a hole in the heart of the town.”
Despite the concern about Dunnies, many residents and councillors are keen for the former school site itself to be developed. But plans to build a 60-room dementia care home there were rejected last year due to concerns about its position and size.
Councillor Colin Campbell (Lib Dem, Otley & Yeadon) said he would like to see a scheme that does not tower over neighbouring homes and does not require the loss of nearby Dunnies.
He said: “Though none of us would miss the adjacent derelict school building, it would be premature to allow the thriving cafe to be removed.”
In its application Gladman Care Homes Ltd says its Otley development would be “for persons aged 60 and over”. Dunnies’ owner Paul Davies, meanwhile, confirmed last year that he was prepared to sell up should the current plan proceed.