Beeston restaurant thwarted over Council car park

A popular Beeston restaurant is calling on Leeds City Council to let them lease one of their car parks – but can’t understand why their offer isn’t even being considered, despite the challenging financial pressures facing the Council.

Bison is a steakhouse and burger joint, opposite the Council’s Dewsbury Road Community Hub & Library, owned and staffed by local residents. It currently seats 45 customers, but the team are refurbishing the next door building, and it will be reopening with double capacity in February or March. Without their own car park, parking is already a major issue for them, other businesses, and the local community – but they insist there’s a good solution staring everyone in the face.

They have therefore asked permission to lease the Community Hub car park each evening, after the building has closed. They have offered staff and secure the car park, and doing so would obviously generate extra income for the hard-pressed Council. But they have been asking for their offer to be considered for over six months – yet still haven’t heard anything back.

Co-owner Rafi Butt commented:

“We’re a growing local business, trying to do the right thing by the community, but we need the Council’s support to resolve these issues. We don’t expect any special favours, we’re keen to pay our way, and we just want the opportunity to explore this, and see what we can do together.”

Cllr Ed Carlisle (Green, Hunslet and Riverside) is supporting Bison, and added:

“Bison are a good local business, trying to do right by the community, and the Council should be doing all we can to support them. There are challenges with this proposal, but I’m confident we can resolve every one of them – and the end result would serve absolutely everyone. The Council is hugely squeezed by the savage cuts from national government – so we need to work hard to get maximum value out of every single asset.”

A spokesperson for Leeds City Council said:

“The Dewsbury Road Community Hub car park provides car parking for the Community Hub and adjacent Children’s Centre. The Council is currently undertaking a wide ranging review of its assets and how they are used, which may involve these buildings being used into the evenings, for which car parking will be required. Whilst the Council is keen to support local businesses, the use of the car park to support front line service delivery and wider community uses is our priority.”


This post is based on a press release issued by Cllr Ed Carlisle


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