Plan to bring 'derelict and depressing' Leicester pub back into use backed by hundreds of residents

-Credit: (Image: Leicester Mercury)
-Credit: (Image: Leicester Mercury)


A former Leicester pub that has sat vacant for years looks set to be brought back into use and residents have voiced their support in the hundreds. The Mayflower, in Gervas Road, in Thurnby Lodge, could be turned into place of worship and community centre, documents uploaded to the Leicester City Council website show.

The pub has been vacant since it closed in 2017 and was slated for demolition. Yet, seven years on, it is still standing and has fallen into disrepair.

In August 2021, it was hit by a suspected arson attack. Some residents later told LeicestershireLive it might have been better if the building had burnt down. They said the area had become “depressing” and looked “run-down” as a result of a number of empty properties, including the pub.

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A planning application to redevelop the pub was submitted to Leicester City Council in January. It proposes to use the ground floor of the former pub as a place of worship and “multi-purpose hall”.

The first floor would be made up of classrooms and a conference room, plans show. The building would be in use between 9am and 9pm Monday to Friday and between 9am and 5pm at the weekends.

The applicant expects 30 worshippers to attend regular prayers, with “higher numbers on Fridays”, and 75 students to attend the evening classes held between 5pm and 7pm on weekdays.

While the building would be renovated, there are “no significant external changes” proposed. In the months since the application was submitted, it has received wide support from members of the public.

Some 301 comments in favour of the plan have been sent to the local authority, versus just 41 objections. Supporters of the scheme were pleased that issues with the currently derelict space were being addressed and commented that the new centre was needed by the local community.

Those opposing said they believed the land should be used for housing instead or brought back as a pub. There were also concerns the 23 proposed parking spaces are insufficient and the additional visitors could result in congestion in the area.

However, planning officers concluded the plan provides an “acceptable amount of parking” and “would not pose an unacceptable highways risk”. They have recommended councillors approve the scheme when they meet next week.