The long running planning dispute over Aspiring Communities’ planned development of the former Ice Pak factory in Beeston is over. The Planning Inspector published his report today (Monday 12 June 2017) finding in favour of Aspiring Communities and granting them planning permission.
As South Leeds Life reported (here, here and here) a public planning inquiry was held on 28-30 March 2017 at Leeds Civic Hall. Following the hearings the independent, government-appointed inspector reviewed all the written and verbal evidence submitted throughout the planning application before reaching his decision.
The decision runs to 13 pages plus appendices. Here are some of the key paragraphs:
“Consequently, notwithstanding the significant level of opposition to the scheme, I am satisfied that the proposals would be available to all sections of the community and that the scale of those facilities has been considered in relation to the likely level of demand, as required by policy P9 of the CS. Moreover, policy P9 does expressly state that a proposal should be refused if the scale is greater than may be justified at a local level. It is silent on what should happen in those circumstances.”
“… conditions are necessary to impose a maximum occupancy level of 308 people; to control the hours of operation; to prevent the playing of amplified music or amplified calls to prayer; to provide acoustic fencing along the rear boundary of the site; and to ensure that any contamination found at the site is adequately remediated. Also for reasons set out above conditions are necessary to require the submission, agreement and implementation of schemes relating to the following matters: noise insulation and/or attenuation; the method of recording the numbers of people within the building; a community use agreement to secure public access to the building; a car park management plan; and a construction management plan to control the development during the construction period.”
“I have no reason to doubt that the intentions of the appellant are to bring forward the proposal as a local community facility, for all sections of the community.”
“Clearly, many residents have expressed opposition to the proposal but, in terms of local and national planning policy, there is no requirement that a facility would be required by all members of the community. I am satisfied that the needs of the community have been considered … and the proposed community use agreement would ensure that the community and sports facilities are available to all.”
The decision of the planning inspector is binding on both parties, both in terms of the permission and the conditions attached.
South Leeds Life has approached both Aspiring Communities, Save Our Beeston and Beeston Community Forum for comment and will bring you their reactions once we have them.
You can read the full decision here: https://publicaccess.leeds.gov.uk/online-applications/files/1F61D85A9A016842AE43354095471535/pdf/14_06007_FU–1955752.pdf