Developers have applied to partially fill in a historic railway cutting in Pudsey.
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.
Planning permission for the temporary stockpile expired on 30th April 2017.
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.
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 application, submitted this week, has already a backlash on social media and has received several formal objections.
Tania Jowett, of Waterloo Grove, said:
“Bats and wildlife are my main priority. What will happen to the bats, birds and animals that have the tunnel and surrounding as a home??? We don’t need more houses in Pudsey.”
David Adsetts, of Fulneck, added:
“The rail cutting is an historic feature of Pudsey and home to many species of flora and fauna. This is a far more valuable asset than a few extra houses built on unstable soil.”
The tunnel has been closed since 15 July 1964 and was part of the old Pudsey Loop line. The cutting runs parallel to Station Street, near the Royal Public House.
The planning application can be viewed in full on Leeds City Council’s planning portal here.