A petition to get a replacement built for Otley’s iconic Dunnies cafe has gathered more than 300 signatures within days.
The move follows an unusual Easter Monday that saw the now boarded-up riverside cafe, which in previous years would be heaving with visitors at this time of year, deserted.
Resident Ian Adamson, angered at the loss of a “very special” meeting place, has started the online petition in support of a campaign by MP Greg Mulholland (Lib Dem, Leeds North West).
Mr Mulholland is asking developers Gladman Care Homes – who will build a 48-flat development on the nearby former All Saints Middle School site, off Bridge Street – to provide a new cafe for the community.
On his petition site, Mr Adamson says: “The cafe was well known across the North of England and attracted many visitors from far and wide to Otley.
“Dunnies also provided an important meeting place for the elderly people of the area, the disabled, disadvantaged and underprivileged.
“The removal of the cafe from this site completely changes the character of the riverside area of Otley and has left very many people without a regular meeting place.
“Gladman has the financial power to provide a replacement cafe as supported by the MP.”
As reported earlier this year, Mr Mulholland has written to the head of Gladman Care Homes, David Gladman, to ask him to consider incorporating a cafe into the scheme.
He said: “I sincerely hope Gladman will look to work with the community they want to move into, and meet me and campaigners to further discuss a replacement cafe.”