Rodley Nature Reserve set to close as new swing bridge built as part of housing development
Rodley Nature Reserve has announced that it may close to the public while work on a new housing development is carried out.
Outline planning permission to build 69 new homes on the former Airedale Mills site was given by Leeds City Council in 2018.
Dynamic Capital And Investments Ltd's application to construct a new swing bridge across the Leeds-Liverpool Canal to provide access to the development was also approved at that time.
At the time, Rodley Nature Reserve Trust did not oppose the development in principal, but raised concerns about security and maintaining the habitat.
It also raised concerns about access while the new bridge was constructed.
In a statement in November 2021, the Trust said: "The proposed development of the derelict Airedale Mills site adjoining the access to the Reserve will involve the replacement of the old canal swing bridge together with additional road works to the approach on Moss Bridge Road.
"Outline planning permission has already been granted and the development now seems certain to go ahead in the new year.
"The developer has assessed that this could take at least two to three months and during this period there will be no access for vehicle, cyclists and pedestrians over the canal and the Trust has no option but to close the Reserve."
It added: "The Trust regrets the necessity of the closure but looks forward to welcoming back our many visitors, migrant birds, butterflies and moths in the spring of 2022."
The Trust added that exact closures dates will be posted online as soon as they are known.
The former Airedale Mills site extends to two hectares. The mill complex was constructed in the 1860s to accommodate small textile businesses.
These buildings have since been demolished, leaving a cleared and vacant Brownfield site comprising a mix of grassed areas and large areas of hard-standing where the buildings once stood, along with associated car parking.