Green light for coal plan at former Leeds tank factory

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CONTROVERSIAL plans to extract around 130,000 tonnes of coal from underneath the former Vickers tank factory at Barnbow in East Leeds have been approved in principle subject to conditions.

Bellway Homes Ltd were seeking permission from today’s meeting of Leeds City Council’s city plans panel to demolish the factory on Manston Lane and extract coal at the site.

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Planning permission was granted on condition that no demolition work or coal extraction takes place until after the proposed Manston Lane link road is built.

Work is due to start on the link road next summer and be completed by mid 2017.

Bellway Homes is seeking to extract coal in a bid to stabilise the ground on the site where coal mining has previously taken place, ahead of a planned development of almost 500 homes.

More than 2,700 residents in the Crossgates and Manston area had objected to the coal extraction plans.

Coun Pauleen Grahame (Labour/Crossgates), said: “They (Bellway Homes) cannot do anything at the site until the link road is built. Myself and Coun Peter Gruen (Labour/Crossgates and Whinmoor) are pleased about the outcome, that there will be no extraction of coal and no houses built on the site until the link road is completed and up and running. Residents were concerned that Austhorpe Road, Austhorpe Lane and Manston Lane would be used by heavy wagons and they can’t take any more traffic on there. I am happy that this (the coal extraction) can’t happen until the link road is built to alleviate traffic in Crossgates.”

Coun Gruen said detailed planning conditions covering noise levels, dust and hours of working when coal is being extracted will be dealt with at a later date.

Coun Gruen said the Manston Lane link road would connect to the planned Outer East Leeds Orbital Road, adding: “All of the infrastructure now comes closer and its what the people of Crossgates and we have wanted for years.”

The Vickers tank factory at Barnbow closed in 1999 and the buildings were later used for storage by Marks and Spencer and other companies.

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