A PETITION urging a Council to reconsider the removal of a popular pub's outdoor seating area has been signed by over 1,400 people.

As reported last week, The Black Bull in Otley has been issued an enforcement notice by Leeds City Council, saying its outdoor shelter is in contravention of planning guidance for the Conservation Area and doesn’t have planning permission.

The seating area in the pub’s courtyard consists of a wooden frame decorated with flowers, lights, and old beer barrels. It was erected during the pandemic when licensed premises were asked by central Government to create suitable outside areas for customers to use and feel safe and for us to be able to trade.

The enforcement notice says: “The Local Planning Authority consider the unauthorised shelter/structure used in the beer garden is a permanent addition and as such is adversely affecting the heritage significance of the listed building and fails to enhance or preserve the character or appearance of Otley Conservation Area and is therefore. contrary to policy."

It adds: "The Local Planning Authority further considers that the unauthorised shelter/structure for use in the beer garden is an overly dominant, incongruous structure and is considered to harm the setting of the listed building and fails to preserve the special character and appearance of Otley Conservation Area because of its size, scale, positioning, unsympathetic design, detailing and materials.”

The enforcement notice takes effect on January 25 unless an appeal is made against it beforehand. If no appeal is made the pub has three months to comply with the notice to remove the shelter.

The action has drawn widespread opposition, with Otley Pub Club's Chair Rob Skinner saying the group is “appalled” at how Leeds City Council has handled the situation.

And a petition calling for Leeds City Council to reconsider their enforcement notice has received widespread support. It says: "It is essential that we support local businesses like The Black Bull who have shown resilience and adaptability in such trying circumstances. By signing this petition, you are standing with your fellow citizens in Otley and supporting local businesses who are doing their best under difficult conditions."

By Wednesday lunchtime, it had been signed by 1,442 people.

Organisers of the petition have also submitted a Freedom of Information request to Leeds City Council to ask how many objections have been received since the seating area was created in late October 2020.

The petition can be signed at: https://www.change.org/p/urge-leeds-city-council-to-reconsider-the-removal-of-the-black-bull-s-outdoor-seating-area