Ice Pak decision taken out of Council’s hands

The decision on the controversial plans for the former Ice Pak factory on Barkly Road in Beeston will now be decided by a Planning Inspector after Aspiring Communities lodged an appeal for ‘non-determination’.

Ice Pak 2

The application was due to be heard at the South & West Plans Panel meeting on Thursday (19 November 2015) but was withdrawn from the agenda in the light of the appeal. Planning Authorities, in this case Leeds City Council, have 13 weeks to determine (decide) an application, beyond that point the developer can apply for non determination which removes the decision from the Council to an Inspector appointed by central government.

In a statement on their website Aspiring Communities say:

“It is now 13 months since the application was submitted and that was after extensive discussions with officers that should in theory have led to a swift decision.

“Instead after months of fruitless negotiations where we felt we were going round in circles, the Planning Authority withdrew the application from the Panel agenda the day before it we due to be heard. For two months afterwards we had no communication with the Authority despite attempts to engage with them, and now, when they have contacted us they are asking the same questions and raising the same issues as they did in May.

“As such we have been left with no alternative but to appeal on the grounds of non determination because we are no nearer a decision.”

At a meeting of Beeston Community Forum last week, Cllr David Congreve clarified that the matter would be discussed by the Plans Panel at their meeting on 10 December. They will not approve or reject the application, but decide whether they support or oppose it. He also said he doubted that the inspector would conduct a public enquiry, as these were only normally used for major schemes such as the Trolleybus.

A letter from Leeds’ Chief Planning Officer Martin Sellens to Chris Weetman, Aspiring Communities’ consultant at the end of October raised a series of questions about the application, which the Council clearly feel have not been answered to their satisfaction. The letter has been made available to Beeston  Community Forum and the Save Our Beeston campaign, but has not been placed on the Planning Portal website.

A statement on the Save Our Beeston Facebook group said:

“Save our Beeston along with Beeston Community Forum are pleased that they will be given an opportunity to present their concerns behind this perfidious scheme and are as determined as ever to extirpate this megalomaniac obsession.”

Public documents relating to the Aspiring Communities application, including plans, letters of support and objections and other correspondence can be viewed at: and entering the reference number 14/06007/FU.



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17 Replies to “Ice Pak decision taken out of Council’s hands”

  1. Martin Sellens also asked Chris Weetman , has AC done anything in the last 9 months to engage with the local community ? The answer to that is an emphatic NO !! Are you and the steering committee going to continue to remain silent over this huge issue because at the end of the day residents look up to our ” community leaders “

    1. Sean, the Steering Committee has made its position very clear, we support the project for what it is – a sports facility, a meeting place and a prayer room. Others have made wild assumptions that it will be something else, but we stick by the plans as submitted and support them.

      Members of Aspiring Communities have been involved in all sorts of community events over the last nine months, for example running children’s sports sessions in Cross Flatts Park and helping at Beeston Festival. Members also attended one of your Save Our Beeston meetings.

      I should clarify that this response is written in a personal capacity. I am a member of the Steering Group, but South Leeds Life neither supports nor opposes the plan.

          1. Pretty full if you have 10 people in there Jeremy . A question , why get rid of the community room and keep the huge prayer room when your promoting integration

  2. “Perfidious scheme”? “…. extirpate this megalomaniac obsession?” This is extraordinarily intemperate language on the Save Our Beeston website. I sincerely hope that Beeston Community Forum will dissociate itself from that particular statement because this is certainly not a sentiment that I share as a resident of Beeston.

    1. Hi Susan
      The Beeston Community Forum has discussed the Barkly Road development numerous times over the last couple of years. It has consistently been the democratically demonstrated will of the forum to oppose the proposal based upon the information presented.
      This opposition has taken the form of official objection letters, all of which have been made available on the Council planning website for public scrutiny.

      Irrespective of the shared opposition to the Barkly Road development, The Beeston Community Forum and the Save Our Beeston group are, and always have been, separate entities. Each group is wholly responsible for their own statements and communications.

      The Beeston Community Forum generally meets on the first Thursday of the month at the Beeston Village Community Centre. All residents of Beeston are encouraged to attend and participate.

  3. Almost sent a long reply as to why that statement was right until I found out who you was!

    Proof of lies have been posted multiple times on BCF and SOB.

  4. Hi Jeremy

    I remember reading some where that AC did not attend the Beeston festival this year, all though I cannot find the evidence to support this. I do however know that over the last 2 years AC have in no way tried to convince the local community that the proposed development is for the good of all by speaking, meeting or allaying the current mistrust. You are correct AC attended a meeting at first to discuss the proposal and ended up calling me a racist, which I did not take kindly to, AC have on many occasions been invited to all the open SOB meetings and I only remember representation from AC attending once,where they were given time to put their point across and were listened to in a polite manner with no accusations being thrown , unlike the meeting mentioned above. If AC are serious about community cohesion they should, as any developer would when making a large finance outlay have been in constant communication with the local community this has not happened at all. If this development does get approval I look forward to you eating your hat when the mosque appears, we all know this is a smoke and mirrors exercise, some are too blind to see.

    1. Look forward to Jeremy,s reply Ray . I was at the Beeston festival and AC was not represented which doesn’t surprise me .

  5. Ray, Sean, Aspiring Communities were represented at this year’s Beeston Festival in that they had a stall. More importantly, their members once again helped on the day with setting up and taking down.

    1. Where exactly was the stall ? , I spent all afternoon there and couldn’t see it . So further to my first point , when have AC engaged with the local community in the last 6 to 9 months ? Furthermore apart from being pushed into seeing the Head of St Anthony,s primary school and that dreadful meeting ,please name me all the other times that this wonderful local charity “who are spending thousands of pounds on a planning consultant to get this through planning against the will of 95% of the local residents ” has engaged with the local residents .

        1. I’m afraid there’s no great incentive to reply to your questions Sean as you always dismiss my answers.

          Aspiring Communities had two stalls at Beeston Festival this year. They were selling food on their pitch at (A9 & A11) on the main path next to the bowling greens. They also had a pitch (B17) on the row behind the Watsonian Pavilion, where they were offering free health checks.

          Perhaps you missed them because there was just so much to do and see in the park that day. That’s thanks to all the volunteers that turn out to help their community. It’s a pity that none of the people who volunteered on the Save Our Beeston Facebook group managed to make it, but there’s always next year.

  6. Thanks for your patience and hard work Jeremy. The language used by Sean Sturman sounds to me dangerous and threatening no wonder AC don’t attend SOB meetings! What a sad state of affairs. A community centre and facilities can only be a good thing surely. Nothing wrong with mosques, churches, temples or synagogues either. Peace and love all, remember tis the season of goodwill!xx

    1. Over exaggeration much ? Where are the threats ? If someone does not agree with your view it is always deemed racist or threatening. No wonder a small % voted you last year.

  7. Liz

    I see nothing dangerous or threatening in the comments that Sean is making, he like many others that have objected (2600+) to this proposed development are looking for truthful answers to many questions asked. AC have not made any attempt to address any of the questions and request for information requested as part of the planning application, this leads me to believe they have something to hide. With reference to your comment that it is no wonder that AC do not attend any of the SOB meetings because they may feel threatened is way off the mark. Representatives have attended one meeting which I was at and they were given a fair hearing and presented themselves in a very professional manner, the discussion between both parties was conducted in a civil manner, unlike the very first meeting. The main point about this proposed development is that it is intended for one group and one group alone, not as a means to integrate a community, if it was intended to bring about a cohesive community then the developer should be promoting the development more vigorously within the community at all levels, which is not the case. Now before you state the obvious and accuse me of being biased and supporting Sean, this is not the case, I make these statements on the grounds that i am totally opposed to this development on the grounds submitted on the planning portal, which include traffic, and environmental issues and are in no way on religious or race grounds. We all have a right to an opinion and I respect your comments as such, I do hope my comments do not appear in any way of a threatening or dangerous nature, at the end of the day truth will out and I know what the end result will be if the proposed development goes ahead.

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