This building was once one of the most prestigious buildings in the area and in the city.
It was built in 1904 to a prize winning design by H Ascough Chapman for a Public Baths and Free Library on York Road and it showcased the work of the skilled craftsmen of the city of Leeds.
In 2005, the building being surplus to requirements, Leeds City Council first wanted to auction the building but in the end decided to sell the Grade II Listed Building to a Jason Gary Butler of Jump Marketing for the princely sum of £17,000. The only proviso they saw fit to put on the building was that it should be used for office space.
Over the next two years the building was boarded up but repeatedly broken into. Butler did apply for planning permission to convert the library into offices in 2005 which was refused and again in 2007 which he withdrew. However the library was put up for sale in 2008 and the asking price was a staggering £350,000! We have to say that had this sale gone through and realised that amount of money
The sale did not go through, possibly because the building, both inside and out, had become a wreck. Please look at the link below and see what has become of a once proud testament to the skill and commitment of the people of Leeds.
We have written to the papers, put videos up on YouTube, in fact tried everything we could think of to raise awareness of this problem. This building has become a magnet for criminal and anti social behaviour. Inside the building the floor is covered in with drug paraphernalia and the site around attracts fly tippers and vandals on a fairly regular basis.
A member of
After much discussion chaired by Cllr Hyde we left the meeting with the clear impression that a Draft Notice would be served on the landlord on Monday 25 October 2010 with a Notice to make the roof weatherproof being issued on the following Monday 1 November 2010 making it clear if Jason Butler did not carry out the work himself it would be done by the Council and the cost charged to him and should he not pay, a charge would be levied against his property so that the council could re-coup their money.
Since then we have had a disturbing email from Cllr Brett in response to one from
We will keep pressing hard for urgent action to be taken immediately on this matter but please if you feel strongly about this important part of our hisory contact your councillors, your MP or write to the newspapers about it as it seems that only sustained public pressure will stop this matter being once again swept under the carpet until the problem is solved by the building being allowed to fall down – we don’t want to lose the library in the same way as the White Cloth Hall was lost through apathy!