A VICTORY for residents’ safety.

That is how Otley’s MP has described a decision that will allow a bollard and camera-based traffic control system to remain in place at Garnett Wharfe.

Introducing measures to control access to the housing development - especially during a flood - was one of the conditions when planning permission was granted for the redevelopment of the former Garnett paper mills site.

Developer Barratt and David Wilson Homes Yorkshire West told Leeds City Council in 2018 that it intended to use an automated number plate recognition and raising bollard system (ANPR) to achieve those goals.

But when it applied for permission in 2019 - after starting work - the council refused, saying it wanted a system that used a ‘bus lane enforcement camera’. This alarmed residents, who questioned the effectiveness of the bollard-less scheme, while the developer appealed.

That appeal has now been successful and MP Alex Sobel (Lab, Leeds North West) has hailed the result.

He said: “I am delighted our objections have been successful and that the safety of residents has prevailed in this case. We have had several exchanges with highways officers and have implored them to hear the concerns of the residents around the safety of the estate.

“There are many young families who live in Garnett Wharfe and it is vitally important that they feel safe.

“Despite assurances to the contrary, I was convinced that any changes to the bollards would result in an increased risk of through-traffic which would have been of great concern.

“It was hard fought but I am thankful the right decision has been made.”

Inspector Diane Cragg, in her report, raised doubts about the council’s camera-based proposal. In contrast, she cited the positives of the bollard system, concluding that it had ‘been designed to recognise vehicles and allow selective vehicle access through the development site in accordance with the planning condition’.

She added: “There are also measures in place to allow emergency vehicles to gain access from either side of the bollards and to manage a rapid response to maintenance in case of a fault in the system being identified. The bollards (also) form a barrier to accessing Mill Lane in the event of flood.”