Historic Wakefield city centre pub could be converted into a dentist and wine bar
04 January 2023
Moodies Free House on Little Westgate has mostly been a pub since 1890 and is a Grade-II listed building within the Wakefield Cathedral Conservation Area.
It was a Pizza Hut restaurant for a period of time during the 1980s.
A design statement submitted on behalf of developers said the large, multi-level structure had become uneconomical to run and most of its floor area seemed abandoned.
It said the proposal was an attempt to improve the economic use of the property and improve the Bread Street area.
Under the plans the main body of the building fronting Little Westgate, would be a dental surgery, occupying the three-storey main building and the two floors facing onto Bread Street.
Number 9 Bread Street would be converted back into a shop, with a one-bedroom flat above.
The remaining part of the three-storey structure would be converted into a wine bar and retain the original use of the site as licenced premises.
The document says: “Moodies has economically struggled in recent times, leading to its recent closure.
“Having been a Pizza Hut’ restaurant for a period in/and after the 1980s, the precedence of alternative uses of Little Westgate building away from a public house has been established.
“There is no evident oral history and/or campaign to maintain the building house as a public house, weakening the importance of the building as a communal asset.
“The proposed plans will see the property continue to offer a communal use, and in line with the former public house use.
"There is currently a danger that once one or two properties become vacant, a downward spiral may begin, with fewer people using the street and more businesses consequently moving out.”
The design statement also notes Little Westgate, along with Kirkgate, “have been subject to the most dramatic change since 1851 – leading to the loss of burgage plots and ‘many inns and hotels on the street frontage”.
The conversion area covers the historical religious centre based around the cathedral and the area where regular markets were held in the medieval era.
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