Plans to fill in part of historic Greenside Tunnel have so far been met with 50 objections from local residents.
As reported last month, EP Homes, which has already built properties on the nearby Fartown site, has applied for planning permission to partially fill the cutting using construction, demolition and excavation materials which have been temporarily stockpiled next to the cutting.
Previous planning permission for the temporary stockpile expired earlier this year.
But members of the Save Greenside Tunnel campaign have vowed to fight to save the local landmark, which dates back to 1893. They say the work would destroy a green corridor which is home to local wildlife, including bats.
Charlotte Hobson, from the campaign, said:
“I see no benefit to allowing this application to go ahead when faced with so much opposition.”
Nyree Pickering, of Robin Lane, said:
“This tunnel has been part of my childhood and is a green haven in an already over-populated town. We need to stop this and think of our environment, the animals we are pushing away and the lives of our children who are growing up in a barren wilderness.”
And Elaine Grundy of Radcliffe Lane added:
“These cuttings are also part of our industrial and social history and just as we save old buildings surely the same could happen to the tunnel.
“There is talk of other areas in the locality where woods are going to be destroyed, if development continues in this way there’ll be none left for our children.”
A planning statement by project management company WYG accompanied the application and promised to minimise disruption to local residents during the work. It also said:
“Ecological surveys have shown that roosting bats use the Carlisle Road Railway Bridge in the east of the cutting and the Greenside Tunnel in the west. No filling operations would be carried out within 10 metres of these tunnels and exclusion zones would be created using temporary fencing.
“Further discussions will be held with the owners of the bridge structure and tunnel portal to seek agreement for the completion of the filling of the cutting.”
Any future planning applications for development on the site will come separately.
The planning application can be viewed in full on Leeds City Council’s planning portal here.
Read more about The Dispatch’s coverage of the issue here. The deadline for public comments is Friday, 16 June 2017.