Controversial plans to fill in part of historic Greenside Tunnel railway cutting in Pudsey have been earmarked for approval by council planning officers – despite widespread local opposition.
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 temporarily stockpiled next to the cutting.
There has been significant local objection, with more than 50 letters opposing the move, including Pudsey Labour Party and Stuart Andrew MP. Concerns include the loss of local history and the impact on bats in the tunnel. Leeds Cycling Campaign also objects to the scheme.
Now councillors sitting on the south and west plans panel next Thursday will decide whether the plans should be approved.
A planning officer’s report recommends councillors give the scheme the green light. It concludes:
“The application is considered to be acceptable. The designation as a safeguarded landfill site carries significant weight, as does the policy and planning history of the site.
“The slight identified harm to a non-designated heritage asset and the impact upon a potential future greenway do not outweigh this designation.
“All other matters including residential amenity, the impact upon protected species and highway safety can be adequately mitigated and thus the application is acceptable.”
The report recommends approval, subject to conditions including a three-year time limit and the introduction of a management plan for bats.
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.
Any future planning applications for development on the site will come separately.
The planning officer’s report can be read in full here.
The plans panel meeting takes place at Leeds Civic Hall at 1.30pm. Members of the plans panel will visit the site at 10.10am that morning.
Read more about The Dispatch’s coverage of the issue here.
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