Developers want to build 40 new homes across the road from Seckar Wood.
Spawforths are poised to submit an application for the new estate at Newmillerdam Industrial Park, on Barnsley Road – but it will rely on an environmental screening opinion concluding that the development would not impact on the surrounding countryside.
Wakefield Council officers said in a planning report that the estate would be just 15 metres from Seckar Wood’s ancient woodland.
Large detatched houses would be built on part of the industrial park if planning permission is granted.
The site lies between Newmillerdam Country Park, a nature reserve, and Seckar Wood, which is a designated site of specific scientific interest (SSSI).
The planning report said: “Some loss of ancient woodland may result from the proposed development. This is a nationally important biodiversity habitat.
“As well as direct damage from the footprint of the development, losses could arise from increased levels of disturbance, particularly recreational use of footpaths, illegal tipping of garden waste, noise and lighting.
“The locality around the site is sensitive and vulnerable to the extent that the proposed development would be likely to have significant environmental effects.”
The report said the proposed development site was in green belt land.
But it said the development would retain original trees and would not create a high risk of road accidents.
Environmental screening is needed for applications which are of “more than local” significance, affect environmentally sensitive or vulnerable locations or have unusually complex or potentially hazardous environmental effects.