There was another lively debate about Aspiring Communities’ planning application for the Ice Pak site on Barkly Road at last night’s Beeston Community Forum (2 January 2014).
Chair Christine Thornton explained that the Forum had submitted a letter of objection to the application and that the deadline for comments had been extended to 17 January. Phil Goodfield said he was disappointed that the Forum was opposing the application and particularly that the letter had stated that there was not a need for indoor sports facilities locally. Others in the meeting pointed out that facilities were available at Soccer City, John Charles Centre and the Hunslet Club.
Bill Birch said the planning system was not working and referred to recent decisions including the expansion of Beeston Primary School, the new Police HQ on Elland Road and the Asda store on Old Lane. He suggested that these decisions were being taken on individual schemes without taking account of their cumulative effect on the community.
Other residents restated their opposition arguing that they had suffered 20 years of noise from the site and didn’t want that to continue from a community centre. Ash Mahmood from Aspiring Communities said he wanted to assure residents that the new facilities would have minimum impact in terms of noise and traffic. Some people were critical that no Councillors were present for the debate.
Earlier the meeting had heard from Philip Lewer the Chair of the NHS Leeds South & East Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). He explained that the CCG was led by doctors and made decisions about how health services are delivered locally. He highlighted some of the issues that the CCG faced including the rising numbers of older people in society, the high levels of alcohol-related illness in the area, and the fact that life expectancy is ten years longer in Tadcaster than in Beeston.
Inspector Chris Bowen from the Holbeck Neighbourhood Policing Team highlighted that there had been a couple of distraction burglaries in the area. This is where someone cons their way into your house. He reminded people not to let tradesmen into your home that you haven’t arranged, ring their organisation to check the identity if you are uncertain and inform the Police. He is hoping to set up a Cold Calling Zone with Trading Standards on the Waincliffs and Cardinals in the near future.
Asked about Winston’s on Dewsbury Road, he explained that the Police didn’t currently have enough evidence to apply for a closure order. However a change in the law is due to come into effect shortly which should make this possible. He understood the owners of the building had applied for planning permission for a change of use for the site.
In other matters the group working on the Beeston Neighbourhood Plan are due to issue a leaflet to residents and businesses shortly. Speakers at future meetings will include Mark Burns-Williamson, the West Yorkshire Police & Crime Commissioner in July and Councillor James Lewis, the Chair of Metro in October.