Ice Pak application back on the agenda

The controversial planning application to convert the former Ice Pak factory in Beeston is to be discussed by the council’s South and West Plans Panel next Thursday (18 February 2016).

Ice Pak 2The application to create a community building including sports hall and prayer room was submitted by Aspiring Communities in October 2014 and was due to be heard by the panel in August 2015, but was withdrawn from the agenda by planning officers. Subsequently Aspiring Communities appealed to the Planning Inspectorate for ‘non-determination’ – that is that the Council had failed to make a decision on the application.

The report to the panel states that questions about the use of the sports/community hall, the construction of underground parking and the conversion of an existing building remain unanswered by Aspiring Communities. This means they are unable to assess the impact of traffic on local roads, or the impact of construction work on local residents.

A letter from Aspiring Communities’ agent (included with the report) counters that these issues were raised at the last moment when the council had the plans for nearly a year. It goes on to say that answers about usage had been provided but it appears planning officers chose not to accept those assurances.

The report notes the large numbers of objections including Beeston Community Forum, Save Our Beeston, local Councillors and Hilary Benn MP. It also notes large numbers of supporting comments.

Next week’s meeting will not be to approve or reject the application but to agree the case that the council will put to the Planning Inspector when they consider the application.

The South & West Plans Panel will meet on Thursday 18 February at 1:30pm at Leeds Civic Hall.

The full report to the panel can be read here: