Housing and bridge at former Rodley mill site gets green light

14 July 2019

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Initial plans for up to 69 houses and a new swing bridge at Airedale Mill in Rodley have been approved in principle by Leeds City Council.

Developer Rodley Ltd submitted an outline application in March 2018 for the empty site of the former woollen mill off Moss Bridge Road, Rodley Town Street. The site has been empty since the 1970s and is bordered by Leeds-Liverpool Canal and the River Aire.

The approval includes access to the site – via a new swing bridge across the Leeds-Liverpool Canal – and for the principle of building up to 69 dwellings.

More details on access within the Airedale Mill site and the layout and appearance of the houses will be submitted in future planning applications.

There were ten letter of objection, surrounding access and traffic. A council report approving the plans tackled the restriction of parking on Moss Bridge Road and said:

“… Highways consider that there is sufficient width and capacity for visitors to park on Rodley Lane. Due to the informal nature of the current parking, it is considered that the application could not be refused on this basis.

“It is the case that the development will cause increased traffic in Moss Bridge Road and Rodley Lane but it is not considered to be of a scale that would be to the detriment of Rodley Nature Reserve and their visitors as noted in the report above.”

The report adds:

“In terms of the concern that the construction of a new swing bridge over the canal will create problems of access to the reserve by visitors, volunteer workers and suppliers/contractors during the period of construction of the bridge, this is inevitable due to the nature of the works.

“However, the present bridge is understood to be in a poor condition and would arguably require significant repairs/replacement in the near future irrespective of this development.

“There is no means to replace the bridge without causing some disruption to the Nature Reserve and Cricket Club. however, the applicant has advised that arrangements are being made for a temporary access to the Nature Reserve from New Laithes Road, which is currently been discussed with Yorkshire Water.”

Cat-proof fencing will be put up to protect wildlife at Rodley Nature Reserve from an influx of domestic cats.

The report concludes:

“In terms of the bridge and means of access, the development will deliver an improved (and adopted) means of access across the canal for future visitors to the Nature Reserve and Cricket Club as well as the development itself. It is considered to be safe and without any significant detriment to the adjoining highway.”

The plans can be viewed here.

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