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.
It’s part of our history, let’s not let the developers take another part of our heritage away folks
The applicant has obtained a Coal Report and the Planning Authority has consulted the Coal Authority. Both reports are inconclusive as they do not contain information about all mining in the area.
Indeed, the Coal report contains information from the Coal Authority which states that “Records may be incomplete. Consequently there may exist in the local area mine entries of which the Coal Authority has no knowledge” (Coal Mining Report March 2014 – Ramsden and Partners, section headed: Mine Entries).
It is a matter of record that Pudsey Greenside Mine was operated from 1889-1890 by Matthew and Company, From 1891 until 1894 by Joseph Cliff and Sons and from 1896 until 1922 by the Leeds Fireclay Company. (The Leeds Fireclay Company was once the largest of its kind in Britain.)
The mine was mined for manufacturing coal and fireclay. It is described as a Day hole, that is: a drift mine or adit, especially one driven into a hillside.
Full details are given on page 79 of “Special Reports on the Mineral Resources of Great Britain: Vol XIV – Refractory Materials: Fireclays (1920)”
There is also no mention of Pudsey Green Top Mine.
The lack of investigation into the potential for geological problems with these old mine workings should be particularly worrying not just for proposed developments but also for existing developments which may in the future suffer displacement as a result of inadequate research at the planning stage.
Until such a time as there is conclusive evidence from the applicant that bot these mine workings will have no effect on any future development of this and any adjoining site this application is at best a failure.