We have revised our plans for the project we are proposing for the former Ice Pak site on Barkly Road. Below are the revised floor plans. We have listened to the views and concerns of the local residents and have come up with a much simpler and reduced plan. Please have a look at the plans below.
We have posted a small booklet about the project to all the local residents before the proposed public consultation meetings which took place on 17th and 18th September. If for some reason you don’t receive the booklet then below are the main 12 pages of the booklet which you can look through at your convenience.
We also have information about the revised project and the pubic consultation meetings on the South Leeds life website which can be found by clicking on the following link:- South Leeds Life.
On Wednesday 17th September we had an informal drop in session on site at Barkly Road from 2-7pm. We had a good number of local residents turn up and talk about the revised project,
On Thursday 18th September we had our formal public consultation meeting at St Marys from 7.30-9pm. This was a packed meeting and a huge number of local residents turned up to express their views and opinions. Unfortunaltely, some of the residents left early because one local resident directed quite a harsh remark towards them. Aspiring Communities would like to clarify that this does not represent our views and the individual who spoke most certainty wasn’t speaking on our behalf. However, a large number of local residents still remained and listened to what we had to say.
We understand that we won’t be able to please every single individual but we have done as much as we can. We hope the local residents will be able to appreciate the changes that have been made and that we have listened to them.
Finally, we know that there are some local residents who live in close proximitiy to the site and still have some concerns and issues. We will be in touch with those residents soon and sit down together. Our aim is assure those residents that we will do as much as we can to address their concerns.
In light of the recent meeting which we had on the 18th September, we posted the following document to the local residents:
Questions and Answers in light of recent public consultation 23.09.14
Following our recent public consultation meeting on 18th September 2014, many questions were raised which we believe were not fully answered on the night and so would like to fill that void.Knowing the meeting was incomplete, we have put together this document which we hope will answer some of your questions and concerns.
Please read the following and feel free to comment or contact us for further clarification on any point.
1. Just have a community centre and remove the prayer Facilities.
Our vision is to provide a unique facility which caters for all irrespective of race, culture or faith, to deliver the platform for integration.
With this in mind, we have both Multi-faith facilities and an Islamic learning centre to cater for and meet the needs of all of the diverse local populations around the Barkly Road area.
The multi-faith centre is there to encourage people in the pursuit and development of their faith, and to promote understanding and respect among members of different faiths. No attempt is made to ‘convert’ people to a particular way of thinking or believing. Every effort will be made to encourage people on their own individual spiritual journeys. The centre will offer a warm welcome to people of any faith or none. The centre will be available to use in a variety of different ways including meditation, reading and quiet reflection.
An Islamic learning centre is not like a traditional Mosque where people offer the 5 daily prayers, the Friday prayer, Eid prayers and as we as the basic teachings of Islam. At this centre children and adults will be taught Islam in its purest form of Peace and Harmony with the focal point being Integration from an early age. For your peace of mind, our curriculum will be shared with all government agencies to ensure a high standard. Furthermore, people of other faiths and no faith can also come and join in with the learning.
2. Noise Pollution.
In comparison to the former Ice Pak warehouse and now, even our existing site, the new scheme incorporates a number of significant noise reduction strategies, which will be independently approved by Leeds City Council as follows to ensure compliance with UK noise legislation at all times, not limited to:
a. New development will be sited approximately 40 metres from the front of Barkly Road
b. The sports centre will have soundproof materials of construction
c. All internal facility plant and equipment will have noise attenuation including silencers or soundproof enclosures
d. To the rear of the site acoustic walls will be erected as deemed necessary by noise surveys
3. Light Pollution
Similar to the noise pollution concern, all light pollution reduction strategies will be agreed and approved with Leeds Planning Authorities.
Furthermore, the building will be designed to the principles of BREAAM to minimise light trespassing from the building and reduce sky glow and glare, whilst ensuring public safety and security on the site, including high efficiency LED lighting, automatic controls and occupancy sensors.
4. Dust Generated during Construction
All dust during construction will be managed and controlled at source, using wet technique’s including additional protection such as local isolation/tenting strategies utilising the latest clean build construction methods, to prevent dust escape or release from the site.
5. Demolition Works
All previous and future demolition works require council approval via a section 80 building notice.
Demolition works will be supported with specific risk assessments and method statements to ensure the safety of our workforce, contractors and safeguarding of public safety in accordance with the relevant legal and statutory obligations under both Construction and Health & Safety Law. In addition there will regular inspections by independent safety officers employed such as the HSE as appropriate.
6. Traffic Volume/Flow on Barkly Road
As part of the planning application, traffic surveys have been carried out around the Barkly Road area to ensure there will be no further impact to the surrounding roads and parking availability. Assessments of road volumes and traffic carrying capacity, in addition to the independent information available to Leeds Highway Department have all been clearly calculated, with key findings as follows.
– “the visitors to site are likely to have very little effect on highway conditions in close proximity to the site and on the surrounding highways network.”
7. Have Any Recent Traffic Surveys Been Undertaken?
Yes, traffic surveys have been undertaken by Amey on the 1st and 2nd March 2013, under worst case conditions of existing local traffic flows on a Friday afternoon through to a Leeds United match day on Saturday, as detailed in response 6 above including accident analysis and audit of public transport and walk/cycle networks.
8. Management of 170 Cars From Site
Whilst the site caters for 170 cars, the level of onsite parking provision is the worst case estimate of cars based on very high modal split figures set by the Highways Authorities and sound data for the intended community centre uses and functions based on nationally approved and validated data from TRICS ” The National Standard for Trip Generation Analysis “.
In addition, traffic flowing into and out of the site will be managed by our onsite security and traffic wardens.
The traffic wardens will marshal both the interior and exterior perimeter of the site to ensure minimal inconvenience to the local residents and wider neighbourhood.
Should any traffic calming measures be required over and above the existing sleeping policeman on Barkly Road, these will be implemented as necessary based on consultation with and on recommendations from Leeds Highway Department and relevant local authorities responsible for highways safety as part of the planning application.
9. Mosque or Community Centre?
The new development is an open access community centre facility for all races, cultures and religions providing both secular and religious facilities, in comparison to a Mosque which caters for the Muslim population only and in isolation providing only religion orientated facilities, activities and programmes.
10. Remove Islamic space, why do you need a worship space?
As our unique project and groundbreaking facilities will accommodate all races, religions and cultures with equal rights for all, an Islamic prayer and learning facility will be provided for the Muslims that live locally within the vicinity of the Barkly Road site in addition to the multi-faith facilities, as these facilities are currently unavailable locally, in comparison to several local churches for example within short walking distances.
Contrary to public perception with some of the locals, of the overall new scheme development the Islamic prayer facilities will represent less than one sixth of the overall floor space and intended uses, predominantly being an open access facility for all of the local population.
11. How is the Project Funded?
The project will be funded by various local and regional individuals who support the concept of integration and advancement of communities within the UK.
Funds to date have been raised from a variety of fundraising events including entertainment evenings, fundraising dinners, business investments and sporting competitions/activities.
As a non profit making organisation all funds generated are fully reinvested back into our community programmes and projects.
12. What will you do with site if you don’t get permission on this site?
We expect to be granted planning permission as we fully comply with local community unitary development plans and policies both on a local and national level.
However, should we fail to attain planning permission for the new intended community use, we may revert back to the original and existing planning approval in place for heavy industrial usage as per the previous Icepak factory, keep hold of all of the existing buildings rather than the much reduced and aesthetically pleasing community centre we have currently proposed.
13. How will you engage with locals after planning?
There is an established steering committee composed from a diverse range of local Beeston community groups and individuals, fully representing different nationalities, cultures, faith, sports, youth and the physically challenged, reflecting and addressing specific local needs in Beeston.
The steering committee has been fully functional for the past 12 to 14 months and has delivered several successful local community initiatives and programmes within Beeston, acting as the local outlet and community engagement/communication channel.
The steering committee will effectively function as the local control, voice and operational delivery team to ensure community needs are understood and met on an ongoing and value adding basis.
14. Retention of trees at site boundary (especially rear)
Trees will be retained as necessary or trimmed to maintain and protect the privacy of properties adjacent to the site, consulting as necessary with local neighbours and planning authority requirements and conditions.
15. Several accidents on local roads recently, how will they be addressed?
We have independently reviewed the local traffic collision data, with the greatest cause of accidents being driver negligence rather than local traffic volumes or road carrying capacities.
Whilst the charity will honour its duty of care to encourage a sustainable transport plan to reduce traffic and manage peak traffic flows inside and adjacent to the site development, local highways safety will be assessed and monitored on an ongoing basis by the council as part of the green travel plan following pre and post planning approval.
16. Can you have a chapel in facility?
Respecting all faiths and taking into consideration locally available existing facilities and proximity of churches, nevertheless, the multi-faith facilities are intended to be utilised to accommodate any local religious or spiritual needs including chapels or the equivalent.
17. Do you think integration will ever occur?
The whole purpose of the project and facilities are to tackle stereotypes head on, by breaking down barriers enabling the development of tolerance, awareness and understanding of differing local needs to improve and advance local communities.
The community centre will provide a central focus and comfortable, welcoming location for all cultures, nationalities and religions.
We are extremely confident of societal integration; however this will require challenging hardened stereotypical views and fears, supported by positive local community action and support to accelerate integration success.
18. Email Responses
The charity apologises profusely for any offence taken by any individual or group in relation to our responses posted on or in either local or social media platforms.
19. If you get planning will you utilise the local supply chains for construction?
Yes, we will employ local supply chains for the construction phase where possible and utilise local labour for the facility operational phase creating local employment opportunities.
20. You have paid your traffic consultant so he can’t be independent?
All the assessments by our Traffic Consultants Amey will be independently verified and validated by the Leeds council planning and highways agencies.
21. Why don’t you build houses on the site?
As a charity rather than a developer, we are a none profit making organisation, with our charitable objects centred around delivering community benefit for all existing and new local residents, rather than develop housing schemes benefiting only a very small fraction of the community.
22. We have enough sports facilities in local schools and John Charles Centre?
The charity intends to provide highly unique subsidised dedicated sports facilities for all locals including critical specialist provision for physically challenged individuals and local youth/adult groups, currently not available within Beeston, when compared to other local commercial operations and facilities.
23. We support the centre but can’t you site the community centre in another location?
The charitable vision is to establish the community centre within the heart of the community to ensure integration success, rather than opting for a community centre situated on the outskirts making it difficult to access, reach and use. As such, the Barkly Road site is the perfect location, as it is set at a good distance away from the main road with extensive on site car parking provision, unlike most other facilities.
24. Why is multi-faith so small in comparison?
To reduce the size and scale of the facility, compared to the original proposals we have significantly reduced all areas, not only the multi-faith area. This is to accommodate and retain all the intended community centre use such as the Youth Skills Centre for example, whilst increasing car parking at the same time as required by Leeds Highways Authorities.
25. What is Aspiring Communities interest in 114-116 Barkly Road?
Our interest in the property at 114-116 Barkly Road, is quite simply a charitable investment. The potential uses of the site range from development as a residential opportunity, resale or retention of the existing utilisation as a commercial enterprise to maximise the returns for the charity.
Please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org if you require any further clarification.
Plans Panel to decide on Aspiring Communities Project- 6th August 2015
The South and West Plans Panel will consider the application at its meeting on Thursday 6 August 2015 at 1:30pm at the Civic Hall.
The South & West Plans panel was due to make a decision tomorrow (6 August 2015) on the Aspiring Communities plan for the Ice Pak site in Beeston. But Planning officers pulled their report from the agenda just 24 hours before the meeting. The planned site meeting will still take place by the panel members as planned in the morning at 9.30am.
See attachment below for further details.