Photo: Mark Stevenson

Pudsey: Developer wants to fill historic railway cutting for housing

17 September 2018

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Plans to completely fill in an historic Pudsey railway cutting have been submitted ahead of a future planning application for housing on the site.

Despite widespread local opposition, developers EP Homes partially infilled the Greenside Tunnel cutting off Carlisle Road last year with construction, demolition and excavation materials from their existing housing development next to the cutting.

Now EP Homes wants to fill the void under the existing Carlisle Road Railway Bridge and build a retaining wall in front of the eastern entrance of Greenside Tunnel, which would not be filled in.

Their aim is to completely fill in the cutting before submitting another planning application for housing in the future.

Local opposition

The Greenside Greenway campaign group, which is working to turn Greenside Tunnel onto a greenway for walking, cycling and horse riding, will be objecting to the plans.

Member Martin Stanley raised specific concerns about the 3,373 HGV trips required to deliver the spill. He said:

“We knew this was coming and we will oppose it. The obscene number of large lorry trips to come through Pudsey to deliver the spill concerns me.”

Mr Stanley, who said the group have yet to meet to formulate a formal response, added:

“The proposals would scupper our Greenway idea. There would be the possibility of running it from the other side of the tunnel by the Fox and Grapes pub, but our main aim was to re-open the tunnel.”

Mr Stanley also expressed concerns about the impact on roosting bats in the tunnel.

“Not lost, but no longer visible”

EP Homes maintain the ‘temporary works associated with the importation of materials to site will not have a significant impact on the adjacent network’.

A heritage statement submitted with the application says the site is not within a conservation area and insists neither the tunnel nor the railway bridge would be physically altered. It concludes that the value of the assets which would be affected is “low”, saying the tunnel would be “not lost, but no longer visible”. It adds:

“There are no designated built heritage assets within the site. Therefore, development will not have any direct impact on any nationally important built heritage assets.”

A planning statement by the developers adds that the scheme adheres to council planning policies:

“The scheme will enable the subsequent best use of the site, through providing a number of new homes, which will assist in meeting the housing requirement for Leeds and within the local area. The ability to commence site preparation works as soon as possible will accelerate this housing delivery, along with the economic and social benefits of new homes.

“Other material considerations, including noise and dust and ecology, have been fully considered as part of the scheme design and the proposals will ensure there are no adverse impacts in terms of those detailed matters, subject to appropriate mitigation.”

The plans can be viewed in full – and commented upon – here.

The 19th century railway line closed in 1964 as a result of Beeching’s railway cuts. The cutting has remained unused since its closure. Local residents say it’s a haven for wildlife.

Campaigners recently showed representatives from the Big Lottery Fund the proposed route of phase one of the Greenside Greenway and are hoping to gain funding for a feasibility study into their proposals.

Greenside Tunnel is currently closed at both ends.


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Mrs Thompson morris says:

Think it’s abouslty disgusting even considering building on green belt.green belt for a reason as it’s ment to be protected .pudsey residents sick of seeing houses been built on every bit if land.even trying to take our green belt .and the traffic hurrendous in pudsey. We don’t have the school doctors dentist to accommodate all these people
Plus they are not affordable housing when 250 thousand pounds or just under .we totally don’t want any more houses been built .why are they not building on spare land in Bradford and Leeds on out skirts plenty land there.its all about making profit all wrong .

Mrs Jean Bollon says:

As a resident who’s house is built on top of the tunnel I am concerned as to how the tunnel can be inspected and maintained if the entrance is filled in.

Chris Bell says:

I wouldn’t pin any hopes on LCC Planning Department or any potential referral to the Planning Committee to put a halt to the plans. We’re living next to the construction site that will become Angela Swift Development’s 86 bed care home on Crawshaw Road Pudsey, being built within a conversation area, with narrow restricted access unsuitable for such a large scheme. Vehicles are frequently using the pavement to make the turning of the corner, both damaging the path surface as well as being potentially dangerous to pedestrians. All residents concerns regarding this were rejected and the project passed for approval, so the fact that Carlisle Road and those roads surrounding it are predominantly residential, that there is at least a couple of schools on the routes to this site, and the disturbance and extra HGV traffic volumes that will be required to fill such a large hole as the Greenside cutting, will probably not even register on their scale of concern unfortunately.

Mr Grant Bassett says:

The tunnel should be turned to greenway, just like Earlseaton tunnel, it great walking threw railway history. And pudsey greenside worth saveing! History, wildlife. Just build houses on the side,and green way aswel! If possable.

David Gray says:

Anyone visiting Edinburgh would see what forward sighted planning has effected. The resultant usage of the old railway networks and tunnel systems has benefited both the city, visitors and local population. You can travel the length and breadth of the capitol city using only the redundant railway lines.

Jill Jackson says:

Could you please tell me where the large wagons will be tipping the infill because as a resident on station street i cannot see where this is possible. An early reply would be appreciated.