Plans for Ice Pak site debated by Councillors


Aspiring Communities are proposing to redevelop the Ice Pak site on Barkly Road in Beeston to create a multi-faith community centre. On Thursday they made a Pre-application Presentation to the Council’s Plans Panel (South and West).

Artist's impression of new centre
Artist’s impression of new centre


In their presentation, Aspiring Communities stressed their aim was to bring communities together and challenge stereotypes through joint activities. They talked through their plans which involve converted some of the existing buildings on site to form sports and activity spaces and to build a new frontage including offices. The centre would be set back from road with a landscaped parking area in front.

They plan to carry out the work in phases over three to four years. The centre will cost £3-4 million, which has been raised privately.

Mark Parry, speaking on behalf of Beeston Community Forum said that his group opposed the development. They were concerned about the amount of traffic it would generate, that the car park wasn’t big enough and visitors would park on adjacent streets and that the development was too large for a residential area.

In 90 minutes of debate Councillors raised a range of questions and comments. Much of the debate ranged around the larger events that might be held at the centre including weddings and funerals.

Zeb Ahmed, Director of Aspiring Communities, said that these were not the central purpose of the building and that he was happy to accept planning limitations on these events. He said that the after-school programmes would focus on activities for all sections of the community including sports, educational and vocational classes.

In his comments, Cllr David Congreve (Beeston & Holbeck) described the development as “huge” and said he didn’t like the frontage with narrow windows and a minaret. He was opposed to the rear access to Wooler Drive and wanted to see conditions to stop activities going on after 9:00pm, limits to noise and no activities to go on outside the buildings.

Ice Pak site on Barkly Road, Beeston. Photo by Jeremy Morton
Ice Pak site on Barkly Road, Beeston. Photo by Jeremy Morton

Cllr Javaid Akhtar (Hyde Park & Woodhouse) said that compared to the existing industrial site, the centre would be a great improvement.

Several Councillors asked Aspiring Communities to conduct more consultation with the community and with local faith leaders and to present the results when they seek full planning permission.

The presentation was part of the process of bringing forward an acceptable development and no decisions are taken at this stage. Aspiring Communities will continue to develop their plans and discuss with planning officers, highways and others before submitting a request for full planning permission at a future date. Building work on the site will not commence until planning permission is granted.


18 Replies to “Plans for Ice Pak site debated by Councillors”

  1. If the aim is to “bring communities together and challenge stereotypes through joint activities.” – then surely there should be some concrete proposals on how this is to be achieved??

    1. This is not a multi faith centre. This is a mosque. Now I do not mind mosques, I just do not want one on my doorstep. The particular group of individuals behind these plan as I understand are privately funding the project however this is the group who carry out a large march which I believed the the ‘large event’ which is carried out every year. Please watch the link to understand the scale of visitors which we can expect if this gets the go ahead: feature=related

      Bear in mind this a taster, streets/roads have often been cordoned off so they can march! I have enough disruption when leeds united are playing…I do not want it on a daily/weekly basis!!

      There is plenty of room in the 2 new mosques which have already been granted planning permission. We do not NEED another. And this can be sold as a multi faith centre but we shall see if that’s the case if it gets the go ahead..I very much doubt females wearing leotards will be welcomed in for Zumba classes!

  2. I live around the corner to this and whilst the current building is an eyesore I can’t see how this is an improvement. It is clear from who is building this and the plans that it is not “for all faiths” or a link with different communities. With the Football ground, local school and new Tescos (soon to be built) this will cause a huge problem for residents. There are several community buildings in close proximity, various churches and mosques so this really isn’t required. I hope we as residents are given the opportunity to oppose what will effect out lives negatively and drive down our property prices.

  3. I think this side of the park is predominantly white British with a mix of Eastern Europeans and Asian families why do we need a mosque type building to hang around in, surely we can go to the Hamara Centre if we want recreation? There has been another mosque built on Hardy Street (4 now in total in Beeston alone) it is huge! Surely there is no need for another? If it is multi faith why does it need to look like a mosque? As someone else mentioned why can’t we have more facilities for the poor white British children who need somewhere to go? Something that looks like a traditional British building? Like the old fashioned YMCA’s?
    Why can’t the money be used for something else? A primary school for example? My children go to a school nearby where the government are pushing them to take more children every year, it cannot cope with all these kids.
    We have sports facilities at John Charles, and the Hamara centre already.
    Please bear in mind most residents this side of the park do not want a mosque and if it does happen more and more people will move away meaning this will be another part of Leeds that ends up looking like Harehills/Dewsbury/Bradford, the prices of our properties will decrease and it will start to look run down, we do not want a mono culture but instead enjoy living as a multi cultured society.
    I was horrified to hear the comment from a lady about a speaker from Aspiring Communities who said it will be happening so get used to it!
    People are living in fear for what the future of Crossflatts, Beeston holds! This is not a nice feeling at all!
    Please listen to the residents.

  4. The proposed development is being funded privately not by the Council. Just as in the nineteenth century Christians of various denominations built churches, so Muslims are now building mosques. Just as there are differences between Christians who (unfortunately!) don’t want to worship together, so there are with Muslims, who have differing views from each other.

    Given the present buildings are an eyesore and getting worse I think some development is to be welcomed. I don’t see why this will necessarily reduce property values. This depends on the quality and size of the design and the effects of the use of the building on the local community.

    I think the major planning issues are those identified by Beeston Community Forum and Cllr Congreve: the size of the development, noise and traffic/car parking issues. These are the relevant issues irrespective of whether the developers are Muslims, Christians or of no religious belief.

    I would agree that if Aspiring Communities seriously intend the development to be a multi-faith centre it would be good to see some evidence of this in terms of discussions and proposed uses with non-Muslims. Have there been any?

  5. There are 23 mosques in Leeds, this will make 5 in Beeston. There are none in other surrounding areas Middleton, Wortley, Morley, Hunslet. I’m surprised we need this many and they don’t. No other part of Leeds has as many Mosques as we currently do. Surly the space could be used for something for the whole community?

    I’m also concerned by the parking, it’s already difficult to park around this area as others are permit holders only.

    I agree the current building is an eye sore but the plans for the Mosque don’t look much better.

    As for house prices decreasing, you only need to look at the trend of Mosques being built and the then subsequent drop in property prices to see this is in fact true. I’m against these plans wholeheartedly.

    I think all religious people should be able to pray in a religious building but I believe with the 4 existing Mosques in Beeston they are more than catered for, more so than any other religion in fact.

  6. Just to re-iterate, I am aware that it is funded privately but wondered whether it could be used as something else other than a mosque type building seen as we have a brand new massive one on the other side of the park. (4 in total already in Beeston)
    How do we get involved with funding or is it purely Muslims who put into the pot?
    Maybe more people would like to contribute towards and have more of a say about how the building will look.
    If it does look like a mosque it may attract more Asian people, in 5-10 yrs time it may make the area more like Harehills which I personally think would reduce house prices. Lets be honest it’s not the nicest part of Leeds is it?

  7. i think this will bring trouble to this side of cross flatts park….we dont need another mosque….especially here….Take it to an area that needs it.We have enough mosques in Leeds. The residents do not need to put up with any more noise and disruptions this will bring.Please take the mosque to an area that hasnt got one…Beeston is slowly been taken over by the Asian community.

  8. Many mosques have elaborate domes, minarets, and prayer halls. Mosques originated on the Arabian Peninsula, but are now found in all inhabited continents. The mosque serves as a place where Muslims can come together for salah (prayer) as well as a centre for education, THIS is from the online dictionary exposing what a mosque is, and THIS is exactly what aspiring communities is proposing! If aspiring communities will admit they are planning to build a mosque only then can we have an open honest debate on this, also do people know aspiring communities own the old passmore building 114-116 on Barclay rd also? They were at Beeston festival raising money for their “charity” they had dressed someone up in a childrens character so families would give money to have a picture, no leaflets explaining their plans very strange way of consulting a community don’t you think?

  9. I can’t say I’m for it,it looks like a mosque has a prayer room and an Islamic learning centre surely this has mosque written all over it! I’m pretty sure white British people and European people are just going to see it as a mosque for the Muslim community and not a multi faith centre! Isn’t there enough mosques in Beeston???Even if there are activities for all faiths,I can’t see it being a centre for all and will end up being used by predominantly Asian people!

  10. As a relative newcomer to the Beeston area, been here for 3 years now, I am appalled to hear the plans for yet another unwelcome mosque posing as a multi-faith center.

    Does a multi-faith center need a minaret? I think not, don’t let them pull the wool over your eyes.

    We have enough traffic problems without the problems this will cause, people are already putting houses up for sale and prices will fall as the indigenous population move out en masse.

    Oppose this now, maybe it’s time to get our local BNP involved as they seem to have a knack of stopping this kind of thing.

  11. Beeston has been a multi -cultural area for many, many years where people of different origins and beliefs have lived side by side – Beeston Festival is a visible sign of this.

    If some people want to provide a mosque with their own money then whether they get permission should and will be decided on legitimate planning grounds.

    “Indigenous” is an interesting word many Muslims living in Beeston were born in the area and most have lived here for considerably longer than three years.

    1. Because a dog is born in a stable doesn’t make it a horse does it?
      Islam is not compatible with the western world. Our values are too different to theirs for it to work and they make no attempt to integrate themselves into our society.
      I have no idea where you live Steve, but I hazard a guess the new development will not have an immediate impact on you?
      I’m sure it will be lovely when the call to prayer blares out over the Cross Flatts area … happy days 🙁

  12. My 13 year old son came in last week very excited as he and his friends had found out about the gym (they hang about round there in the Barklys) and have made plans to spend their time there already! They didn’t mention/care who was in charge of the gym. So please give the place a chance as this would be a great facility for the area. Nobody should feel excluded – just go and use it!

  13. There are plenty of people who live in Beeston who have different values from each other but that doesn’t mean mutual appreciation and tolerance isn’t possible. There have been Muslims living in the west from 800 AD. I know a number of Muslims and my values are closer to theirs than many who are not. I don’t see why a call to prayer is a matter of concern, any more than church bells ringing…

    There are two legitimate concerns about the proposed development:

    1. What is it? Is it a multi-faith centre or a Mosque providing a variety of services?

    2. Is the development appropriate for the site? From the scale of the currently proposed development and the likely traffic problems I think it is highly debatable whether it should get planning approval.

    While I would argue that the best use of the site (and the larger site area) is for residential development that is extremely unlikely to happen in the foreseeable future and some local residents may feel that some development is better than an increasingly derelict building which certainly won’t help nearby property values.

  14. Why is it only white folk of beeston are expressing their views or ARE they? If you are going to express your views, don’t do it under the pretence of using a white name whether it be male/female.

  15. 1) Whether it is a mosque posing as a multi-faith centre or a full blown mosque, the only services it will provide will be for the Muslim community, whatever lies Aspiring Communities pour out about its use.

    2) If it genuinely is a multi-faith center, where is the Christian, Jewish, Buddhist or any other non Muslim religion learning centre or prayer rooms ???

    3) In answer to the last post regarding the whiteness of the people voicing a view, yes it probably will be the white folks on this side of the park concerned that their area will soon resemble a 3rd world country like the other side of the park as become.

  16. Anything at the site would surely be great given the current state of disrepair &amp fast becoming derelict not to mention the youth hanging around there getting up to no good.

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