A campaign group is calling on Pudsey residents to object to plans which they claim will see historic Greenside Tunnel lost forever.
Plans to completely fill in the railway cutting have been submitted by developers EP Homes ahead of a future planning planning application for housing on the site. The cutting, off Carlisle Road, was partially filled last year.
Now EP Homes wants to fill the void under the nearby Carlisle Road Railway Bridge and build a retaining wall in front of the eastern entrance of Greenside Tunnel, which would not be filled in.
So far 131 people have objected to the plans. And with a further 10 days to lodge objections, campaigners hope that more than 200 people will object.
Greenside Greenway campaign chair Andrew Jarosz feared the application would scupper the group’s bid to turn Greenside Tunnel onto a greenway for walking, cycling and horse riding. Mr Jarosz said:
“While extra housing is obviously needed, there are surely better sites than this.
“After a full infill it could be at least five years before it is ready to be built on, whereas there is huge support for a greenway which could be built now. If the full infill is approved, it scuppers any potential greenway, as well as creating huge disruption for residents.”
The main concerns of the group are:
- 3,373 lorry loads of material will be required to fill the cutting, creating unacceptable disruption to residents.
- The destruction of wildlife including bat roosts
- The loss of a local landmark
Full details of their concerns can be found here.
‘Meeting housing requirements’
EP Homes say the site works ‘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.”
Greenside Greenway are a group of volunteers working to turn the old Pudsey railway loop into a greenway for walking, cycling, and horse riding. They have existed for a year and are currently working on securing investment for a feasibility study into the proposed greenway.