Aspiring Communities given the green light for development

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:–1955752.pdf



7 Replies to “Aspiring Communities given the green light for development”

  1. So after almost 3 years of meetings & appeals, a faceless out of town bureaucrat has decided that he knows what is best for the residents of Beeston Village. Over 3000 LOCAL residents plus councillors & Hilary Benn our member of Parliament voiced their objections to the proposed development of the Ice Pak site. Over this period of time, Aspiring Communities have been found to be somewhat economical with the truth over their plans. The inspector’s report states that a maximum of 330 people will be allowed on site at any given time. Aspiring Communities state that the development (MOSQUE) is for the whole community which if for example 50 non Islamic people want to use the gymnasium would 50 Islams vacate the premises. Aspiring Communities also state they want to integrate with the local residents which is highly unlikely as the majority of their faith will not be from Beeston Village. Who is going to monitor the recommendations of the faceless inspector? I somehow can not see Aspiring Communities letting a neutral adjudicator have access to their data. Aspiring Communities have also been very quiet about certain female activity on and around the site. I could go on but the decision has been made and I just hope it is not going to be something that bites us on the backside in years to come.

  2. so now it has been approved when are they going to give a statement as to what happens next re this development
    when will work start?

    Nightmare waiting to happen for all us local residents


    answer the people of beeston stop ignoring us

  3. I’m amazed at this decision given the amount of campaigning against the site being developed in this manner.

    Thankfully my family and I made the decision to move out of Beeston 2 months ago. This did not come easily as I have lived in Beeston for a little over 40 years, my children have schooled in Beeston and I am fiercely patriotic when it comes to my manor!

    However the way things have and conitnue to develop in Beeston is not something I wished to witness any longer.

    Good luck to those who remain, Beeston will always be in my heart!

  4. In my experience the addition of a mosque to any community has been extremely positive. I work in Beeston everyday and I absolutely love how friendly and welcoming the whole community has been. I’m shocked by the negativity I’ve seen on this post, mostly because my impression of Beeston over the last 2-3 years has not reflected this hostility and bad feeling.
    I’m not sure if your objections are based on reality, or fear.
    I hope it works out for you.

    1. Its OK working in beeston try living there! I’ve lived here 30 years and if I had my time again would sooner live in a tent the bottom end of Dewsbury road is even worse invisible councillors who can sponsor hanging baskets on tempest road but nothing past churchills “gentleman’s club” so that will make it 4 mosques a brothel numerous takeaways eastern European food stores galore – is anyone catering for the original beestonite?

  5. Whilst local residents have every right to question such a big decision by “bureaucrats” and quite right too, I do still wonder about opposition. Much of it was based on traffic and related matters. But there was a factory there before. The area surely would benefit from a community facility with all welcome – who cares if many attenders are of a particular culture or faith. Not that anyone has said this here on this page. But that has featured during the arguments. I can’t help but say that all around our inner cities and suburbs there’s all manner of buildings with car parks with stuff going on. We want stuff to go on don’t we? Personally I would have loved a massive dining hall serving all sorts of food and employing lots of people. Or social housing. But they were not on offer. I would rather hope that it works out well for all. As long as no corruption of our democracy has taken place then let’s live together eh. I only wish St Anthony’s Church would stay open more often as I would often pop in to cross myself with Holy Water and say a prayer for all of us. One Love xx

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