Council planners are reserving judgment on whether or not a “monstrous” industrial machine is too big, partly because it hasn’t been painted yet.

Hawksworth Quarry in north Leeds has been accused of breaching planning rules by local people, because its new filter press can be seen from various nearby vantage points.

Under the terms of the planning permission the quarry received last year for the press, it should not be visible outside the confines of the site.

A council report on the quarry, sent to campaigners, acknowledged the machinery can be “seen from a distance” but said it won’t rule on whether or not a breach has been committed yet.

It explained: “The press is yet to be painted the approved green colour, and the bunding and planting is yet to be carried out.

“Further assessment will take place on this once these two conditions have been met.”

But a spokesperson for the Hawskworth Quarry Monitoring Group, which is made up of local people, criticised the council’s position.

“It doesn’t matter whether it’s white, green or pink – we shouldn’t be able to see it,” they said. “Saying they’re going to paint it green shouldn’t make any difference.

“The most important condition was we shouldn’t be able to see the filter press outside of the quarry. That was accepted by the planning committee unanimously and it’s very unequivocal.

“It’s a huge monstrous thing and we’re finding it very difficult to see the logic (in the council’s approach). Frustration is the word really.”

Hawksworth Quarry have been approached repeatedly for comment since news of the allegation was first reported in May. They’ve not responded.

At a planning meeting last December when the filter press was approved, one councillor accused them of having a “cavalier” attitude to planning rules after the quarry was found to have committed five breaches in recent years.