Newlay Bridge news

There is stuff happening to Newlay Bridge. Leeds Bridges will be laser surveying the whole bridge to 2.5 mm accuracy from the four land points either end of the bridge. This will tell engineers if there has been any significant movement or twisting that might have resulted from the flooding of December 2015.

You will see a number of trees being cut down or back in three of the four access points, and this must be done to give the laser enough of a view to carry out the survey. Six riverbank trees in Brigg Flatt Wood will be removed completely. One of them has already toppled over and the rest in time will probably end up in the river anyway as they are so close to the bank. Brigg Flatt Wood is being planted (slowly) with trees to mitigate the loss of these.

The tree work is likely to be done next week. In the Spring, the bridge will be scaffolded and then fully painted – ready for the 2019 Bridge Party!

Getting involved

Hello!   If you are reading this then you’re probably interested in the Newlay Conservation Society, or have been in the past.  The Society is 30 years old now and still going strong.   Well, fairly strong –  as we do need some fresh input.   Really, we need people who are supporters on paper to get involved, come to meetings, find out more, and join in.

We’re always happy to hear from people wanting to help out, and you can really help with the Society’s work by volunteering.   Apart from our original brief, to safeguard the character of the Conservation Area, we now have other interests affecting our community, notably crime prevention and personal security and re-energising a sense of community and belonging in our lovely neighbourhood.   Our local Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) attends NCS meetings to exchange information, and our concerns often extend beyond Newlay now over issues such as housing and the environment.

The Society meetings happen every two months at The Old Trout in Newlay Lane, the house by Newlay Bridge, opposite the Old Toll House.   If you would like to come along and find out more, please do.  You might discover there are things you could help with. We feel sure there’s knowledge and talent out there.

Martin Hughes at Aire Cottage is the person to contact if you want to ask any questions, or to find out when the next meeting will be held. He can be contacted at  or on 07976 916166.

Thank you.

Tree Advice

Living in an area containing so many trees is lovely – but can also bring its fair share of problems when it comes to looking after them, particularly when it comes to understanding who’s responsible for what, and when permission is needed to prune or remove trees.

Fortunately, Leeds City Council have recently published a booklet giving lots of information about the rights and responsibilities that apply to trees, whether they’re on your own land or a neighbouring property, and clarifies many issues concerning who is responsible for what.

LCC Tree Guidelines


Click image to open document (you will need a PDF viewer)


Trees in Conservation Areas such as Newlay have a level of protection that is greater than trees elesewhere. In many cases, trees in conservation areas are additionally protected by Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs). TPOs can also be placed on trees outside of conservation areas. There are many of these and you may not be aware of them.

The penalties for interfering with protected trees without permission can be severe, so our advice is to check out the status of any tree on which you may be planning to undertake work beforehand. More information about TPOs can be found here, on Leeds City Council’s website. Better safe than sorry!


Kirkstall Forge station – up and running.

Yorkshire’s newest railway station is finally open for business!

Kirkstall Forge saw its first train at 08:43 on Sunday 19 June 2016. I’m not aware of any firing cannons or brass bands – as is reported was the case in 1846 when the original Newlay station first opened – but who cares. The important thing is that we have a rail link serving the locality once again.


Leeds-bound train, Kirkstall Forge.

Despite its name, the station is rather more accessible on foot to the good people of Newlay and the southern end of Horsforth rather than those who live in Kirkstall itself, at least until the Forge redevelopment is complete. For those who may not know, the station’s main access is via a traffic-light controlled junction with the A65, close to Hawksworth Road, which leads down the hillside to car parking for about 120 cars. When visiting mid-morning, I counted 16 cars parked and an awful lot of empty spaces. Maybe word just hasn’t got around yet – it’s expected to get much busier as a park-and-ride option. There’s also access for cyclists and pedestrians via a new tarmac path that links to Pollard Lane (near The Abbey Inn) at one end, with the canal towpath near Bramley Fall locks at the other. Note of caution: if you’re planning to walk to the station from the Pollard Lane end it’s further than you think – about 10 minutes at a steady pace.

At the moment the service is pretty sparse – hourly to and from Leeds with some extras in the morning and evening commuter peaks. In the opposite direction, the vast majority of trains Monday to Saturday travel to Guiseley and Ilkley. Bradford would perhaps have been a more practical destination, but at least a brisk walk on Ilkley Moor and afternoon tea at Betty’s is now within easy reach. For some reason best known to Northern Rail and Metro, only on a Sunday does the westbound service end up in Bradford – if you want to go to Ilkley then, it will involve a change at Shipley.

We have it on good authority from West Yorkshire Metro that the inaugural timetable is just a start, and that the frequency of services will increase with demand as the Forge development progresses.

After years of enduring traffic on the A65 and endless delays waiting for Kirstall Forge to open, it’s a delight to be able to walk to a local railway station, hop on a smooth, quiet electric train and be in the city centre stress-free in less than 10 minutes.

Kirkstall Forge Update

Following a meeting of the Kirkstall Forge Liaison Group, here is a progress update.


  • The western access road is complete, as is the new bridge foot/road over the Aire.
  • Landscaping has started.
  • The building of No. 1 Kirkstall Forge has begun, which is the largest of the office buildings on site. This already has tenants to occupy it when complete and is a 76 week project due to open September 2017.
  • The first houses are due to be finished Spring 2018.
  • There will be two car parks for the railway station – totalling around 300 spaces.
  • One of the car parks will be developed into two further office blocks when they get tenants and a multi-storey car built at that point.
  • A primary school is planned for the western end of the development.

The Station

  • The railway station is finished and services are due to start on 19 June 2016. Arriva services on the Wharfedale line will go to Bradford, Shipley and Ilkley – they will stop at Guiseley in the evening.
  • There are a small number of bike boxes which can be rented from Arriva. There are also cycle racks.

The River

  • The engineering around the river is quite impressive quite apart from the new bridge. The banks have been engineered to withstand flooding, and they coped with the floods last winter.
  • There is a balustraded area overhanging the river which is open to the public. Next to this area will be the shops, restaurants etc. which again will be built when they have tenants.

Cycle Path to Pollard Lane

Enquiries have been made as to why the cycle path is not lit, as a number of people have indicated that would not be comfortable using it in the dark due to being worried about their safety. Interestingly, LCC Highways response it to confirm that that it will not be lit, as there is evidence that lighting paths of this nature actually encourages untoward behaviour. We will just have to see on this one.


Concerns have also been aired that there may be some increased parking at the bottom of Pollard Lane LS13 and possibly Newlay Lane LS18 with people parking up all day to take the train. This is rejected by some as unlikely, but local residents’ organisations perhaps need to think about this ahead in case it actually happens, rather than be taken by surprise.

Below are links to a number of documents and maps associated with the development. Please click on the links to view.







Thanks to Roland Cross of NAWRA and Martin Hughes of NCS for this content.


Meeting Highlights: 23 May 2016

Susan and Wendy kindly hosted the latest NCS meeting on 23 May, attended by eight residents plus PCSO Rob Southwood from the Neighbourhood Policing Team. Here is a brief summary of the topics covered.

Policing Update

PCSO Southwood gave an update on crime and anti-social behaviour in Newlay. A small number of burglaries had occurred, the majority of these being forced entry to sheds and garages. There had been one incident of a mugging and bag theft by the Tesco ATM earlier in the year, for which the perpetrators had since been apprehended. Care was advised for anyone using ATMs, particularly about putting cash away securely and ensuring no-one is crowding you as you use the machine.

A member pointed out there’d been a recent incident of graffiti along the Cuckoo Steps, although this had not been reported to the police as it was felt too trivial a matter. PCSO Southwood stressed the importance of reporting ALL incidents of crime or anti-social behaviour, as often a seemingly unimportant incident can be connected to other crimes or criminals in the area. Non-emergency incidents can be reported by calling 101 or emailing

PCSO Southwood urged that instances of suspicious or anti-social behaviour on the Bramley side of Newlay Bridge continue to be reported (including descriptions and vehicle details if possible), ensuring that the location is given as ‘Pollard Lane, LS13’ to ensure incidents can be assimilated correctly and patterns observed. He also asked people to keep notifying him of the registration numbers of motorcyclists who persist in flouting the Motor Vehicles Prohibited rule, and advised that several riders – to their surprise – had been spoken to as a result.

Finally, PCSO Southwood reported there had been a number of initiatives around local schools to tackle inconsiderate or illegal parking, in partnership with LCC’s enforcement officers and warned that anyone caught parking on double-yellow lines or a dropped kerb can expect a ticket.

Planning & Development

An update was given on various matters outside the Conservation Area boundary including Horsforth Campus, the recent Site Allocations process, Horsforth Neighbourhood Plan and the Airport Road or Rail Link. Please contact Martin Hughes if you require the detail of these plans.

Local Planning Applications

There have been no new formal planning applications lodged with Leeds City Council affecting properties within the Conservation Area boundary. There was speculation about a future application, however unless or until this crystallises into a formal submission there is nothing that can be said or done.

The meeting was reminded that all planning applications within the Newlay Conservation Area boundary are subject to particular scrutiny to ensure local character is preserved. This also means mature trees are subject to Tree Preservation Orders and cannot be removed or lopped without obtaining formal permission from LCC. Anyone contravening this risks prosecution and £20,000 fine.

Residents were asked to stay alert for any unauthorised attempts at tree removal where the landowner may be of the mind that ‘it’s better to ask forgiveness than permission’.

Local Issues

Updates were given on a number of ongoing local issues:

River Aire: Attempts to engage with the Environment Agency regarding the clear-up of the riverbank following the winter floods are proving difficult, however we continue to persist.

Newlay Wood Road: Issues with the culvert and water run-off at the junction with Newlay Lane continue. What was thought to be a proposed solution has been complicated by the discovery of a sewage leak further up the road.

Newlay Bridge: Funding cuts and a number of personnel changes at Leeds City Council have created delays in getting the bridge repainted and necessary repairs completed. The Council will be reminded that the Conservation Society is working towards holding an event to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Newlay Bridge in 2019.

Kirkstall Forge Station

The meeting was informed that the latest opening date had been quoted – by our local MP no less – as now being mid-June. The delay in constructing the access road and car park is attributed in part to the floods, but mainly due to the discovery of contamination on the land that had to be removed. We will see how accurate this latest prediction is…

A number of members expressed concern at the lack of lighting along the new footpath to the station (past Hunters Greave), and the potential for parking problems once the station is open – although it was pointed out that the distance to the station from Pollard Lane is further than people think and may not be attractive as a ‘park & ride’ option.

It remains to be seen what – if any – issues this new and long-awaited amenity will create for the neighbourhood, but our neighbours at NAWRA share similar concerns and it was agreed this offers the opportunity to join forces for a louder voice, if need be.


As was widely known, there was a marked increase in fly-tipping near Brigg Flatt Wood in the early part of the year. The police and Leeds City Council have both been involved in tracing the culprits from tell-tale items and documents found in the waste, and it’s pleasing to report that a number of individuals have subsequently been interviewed under Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) caution. Whilst a number of culprits were found to be relatively local, others were traced as far away as Dewsbury.

There have been no further incidents of fly-tipping since, so perhaps word has got around the criminal community that it’s something that’s taken seriously in Leeds, and that if you do it you WILL be caught and prosecuted.

Social Media

Newlay Conservation Society is represented on Facebook – and or course, the website you’re reading right now. The Facebook site currently has 130 ‘Likes’ and typically attracts 60-70 views per post, while this website has had almost 500 views in 2016 to date.

Not quite what you’d call going viral, but clear evidence that social media plays an important role in reaching out and generating interest in Newlay Conservation Society. Please spread the word.

The next meeting will take place on Monday 22 August 2016, venue to be confirmed.

If you have any queries or need any further information, please Contact Us or leave a Comment below.

Keeping Our Waterways Alive

CaptureFind out about our Canals & Waterways now and their history. Poster attached.   Once they were the motorways of their time – vital for industry and trade, connecting Leeds to the ports of Liverpool, Hull and markets worldwide.

That has all gone and now they are havens of tranquility and provide rich habitats for all types of wildlife, including the notorious American Crayfish which is continuing to take over  from the native crayfish.

They are also a great resource for leisure activities.

How much do you know about our local streams, rivers and canals?

Find out about Jonathan’s work and that of the Trust.

Please support us on:

 Thursday 25th February  at 7.30 pm .   Venue:    Rawdon Library (by Rawdon Crossroads) 

Action on fly-tipping

Following an unfortunate increase in fly-tipping near Newlay Bridge on the Pollard Lane side of the river, Leeds City Council has acknowledged this as a ‘hotspot’ and, in conjunction with West Yorkshire Police, has placed the area under surveillance.



A sign has recently been erected so that anyone up to no good is fully aware that their activities are being monitored.

When removing the mess, Leeds City Council will also sift through it for clues as to its origin and actively pursue the miscreants. The penalties for this inconsiderate and anti-social behaviour are steep – including potentially a term of imprisonment.

If you see any suspicious activity in the area or have information such as descriptions, vehicle registration numbers etc. please contact either Leeds City Council on 0113 222 4406 or online, West Yorkshire Police on 101 or online, or anonymously via Crimestoppers.

Station Frustration

The platforms and footbridge are ready. The information displays are connected, and the tannoy system works. Kirkstall Forge station looks complete. Yet almost six months after its original planned opening date, trains continue to rush past on their way to Leeds or Bradford without stopping, as commuters continue to crawl along the A65 in buses and cars.

Apperley Bridge station, a few miles up the line, opened in November 2015 and is already proving its popularity with commuters. A few weeks ago the opening date for Kirkstall Forge was deferred for at least the third time to Easter 2016.

We all know construction projects get delayed, but what’s particularly frustrating about this particular project is that there’s never any explanation of why the opening date keeps getting put back. The available update seems to be a few cursory lines on WY Metro’s website.

All dressed up and nowhere to go...

All dressed up and nowhere to go…

The stations buildings are complete. The access road junction with the A65 is complete. The pedestrian and cycle access on the canal side is complete. Yet the station remains closed. You can understand the frustration.

Nor can the recent floods be blamed. As reported in the Evening Post according to Jon Kenny, director of Kirskstall Forge site developer CEG, “The new station and areas of the site prepared for development were unaffected by the flooding.”

From the outsider’s perspective, there appears to be little sense of urgency about getting this project completed. Work is going on, but stops at the weekend – one can’t help wonder if whoever agreed the contract didn’t understand about penalty clauses.

Easter is not many weeks away, but on past form we probably shouldn’t be building our hopes up.

Metro, Northern Rail, Leeds City Council…. anyone!… please let’s have some honest, straightforward information about what’s going on and when this valuable, long-awaited amenity will actually open.