Reaction to Ice Pak planning decision

Local residents have been reacting to the decision by a Planning Inspector to grant planning permission to Aspiring Communities controversial plans for the former Ice Pak factory on Barkly Road in Beeston.

Speaking to the Yorkshire Evening Post, the leader of Save Our Beeston, Sean Sturman said:

“We’re very disappointed. We’ve been fighting this for four years. The main worry is 3,000 people voted against it – local people, the three councillors voted against it, Hilary Benn our MP voted against it and now it takes one man who doesn’t live here, to decide the fate of the people.

“It’s caused a lot of division to be honest. When we found out yesterday there was a massive amount of ill-feeling. It will probably split the community to be honest. “We’re going to see three years of huge construction – some of the houses are one yard away. It’s the safety of the kids – there are three infant schools in the proximity. “We are not happy. All the residents are not happy.”

Ash Mahmood, on behalf of Aspiring Communities has issued the following statement:

“We are obviously happy to have been granted planning permission, but wish to go forward not alone, but in partnership with a wide range of local people and organisations. That was always our intention, and we’re sorry we failed to communicate that clearly. We’re 100% open to ideas.
“We acknowledge the conflict that has previously arisen these past years, and the legitimate concerns that have been raised. We regret our part in that, and have learnt a lot.
“We are not going to get embroiled with individuals on social media. There is a lot of anger being vented by local individuals who have opposed the project from day one but more disheartening are the comments of a racial nature being made by some.
“The Aspiring Communities  vision and in particular this community project was and is all about community cohesion, tolerance and respect, we will continue to work in partnership with the community to break down any barriers and unfortunate stereotypes.
“We look forward to opening a highly inclusive, open access facility, but this is a two way process. We need and welcome the involvement feedback and engagement from all sections of the community.”
Beeston Community Forum will adopt a statement following their next committee meeting. What do you think? Please add your comments below.

7 Replies to “Reaction to Ice Pak planning decision”

  1. This is a very disappointing and divisive decision, that has been made in spite of local residents and planning officer’s concerns. It seems that the potential upset and disruption to over 3000 local people, is less important than letting a religious group bypass local planning laws.
    It is very unsettling to see a government official make a ruling that has the potential to affect the lives of thousands of people, when that person lives hundreds of miles away.

  2. I just can’t understand why a community facility should cause such opposition. I really can’t.

  3. I completely agree Liz. Their main objection seems to be that it will have a religious function as well as being open to local residents for a variety of community uses. I cannot see how that will differ from the Catholic Church up the road, or from St Mary’s opposite the Coop. Each has a community centre and is a facility for worship. I don’t see the problem.

  4. Liz and Lilybright, you both are so naive it is unbelievable what you have written. The whole point of protests about this building is the noise traffic and volume of people who will be visiting this place. It is not a religeous protest, although why we need another mosque/prayer meeting, when they are dotted all over Beeston, I don’t know. It is when a child gets hurt or the like, there will be a public outcry.
    The poor people in the London fire should have had sprinklers fitted but didn’t. It’s amazing what should have been done in hindsight.
    I can see this happening in Barkly Road, CAN’T YOU??

  5. In reply to John above: No I really can’t. How odd to bring up the tragedy in London. All around our inner cities and suburbs there are buildings and car parks and stuff going on. We want stuff to go on don’t we? Whatever was put in that place would bring people and cars. Unless democracy has been corrupted then I don’t see the problem. St Mary’s and St Anthony’s have community centres attached and people attend them too. I understand this to be a community facility with all welcome. I can’t see a problem if it has a prayer room. I hope all goes well for the area and the people.

  6. It’s time the residents of Beeston village rid ourselves of the scourge of labour, they stabbed every single local resident in the back in the hope of retaining the moslem vote they delayed their decision time and time again on this monstrous mosque which could and should have been stopped years ago, in the knowledge that if they dithered long enough it would be taken out of their hands and given to a no face I’ll London,therefore vindicating themselves,leaving locals clinging on to hope. To make matters worse they delayed the final decision till after the local elections. Labour for the few not the many!!!!!

  7. To Mark above – it’s not a mosque and it’s not monstrous – it’s a community facility.

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