New battle set to rage over plans for factory

The former Ice Pak site
The former Ice Pak site
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Developers behind revised plans for a so-called multi-faith community centre in south Leeds are facing a fresh battle for approval.

In March Charity Aspiring Communities dropped an application for a £7million project on the former Ice Pak factory site on Barkly Road in Beeston amid a flood of objections.

There were concerns about the size and potential impact on traffic of the scheme, which included a sports hall, prayer and funeral hall, learning centre and food facilities.

The organisation has now submitted proposals for a centre that is less than half the size of the previous plan, with double the number of car parking spaces. Some elements of the original project – including a catering facility, funeral services and a minaret – have been dropped altogether.

But an organised campaign by the Save Our Beeston groups has seen hundreds of objections already lodged against the new plan.

Many have signed a standard letter calling for “no more developments in the Beeston village area to granted planning permission until Leeds City Council has engaged with local residents.”

But Naz Maroof, of Aspiring Communities, said a lot of people had come round to the idea.

“You are always going to get people who are opposed to it and we respect their opinions, but we have listened and we have come back with a much better plan,” he said.

“We’re offering something in the heart of the community for the benefit of everybody.”

PIC: James Hardisty

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