Hundreds sign petition to stop plans for shop over anti-social behaviour fears

The pub could become a shop.
The pub could become a shop.

Hundreds of residents have joined a campaign to prevent a former pub being turned into a convenience shop and add a new potential anti-social hotspot to the area.

The Queen’s Head on Kendal Drive is already closed and an application has been submitted by Featherstone-based AMSD Retail Ltd.

A petition with more than 300 names has been submitted to Wakefield Council to help halt the plans. Around 90 letters of objection have also been sent in.

Many fear it would escalate an existing problem of troublesome youths.

One wrote: “The ward is currently experiencing a rise of anti-social behaviour. Where there are bright lights gangs and youths are bound to gather, granting a change of use to this property would just increase the number of pockets of anti-social behaviour that both the council and the police are currently struggling to manage.”

Alex Kear, who started the petition, also pointed to other areas where anti-social behaviour was prevalent, having so far unsuccessfully campaigned to improve CCTV in the area.

He said: “There are three anti-social behaviour hot spots in Airedale - the Triangle, The Square and the Crown shops.

“All these areas suffer from high incidents of anti-social behaviour and other related problems and all operate late-night opening retail outlets.

“The proposed opening hours would increase the risk of adding a further hot spot, and increasing disturbances for local residents.

“Given the current circumstances of the police not being able to control these three hot spots, why would we want another?”

In recent years the old Magnet pub on Fryston Road was turned into a Tesco Express, and the problems with youths has even led the supermarket firm to recently bring in its own CCTV van to protect the area.