THE REDEVELOPMENT of an old Wharfedale paper mill site has received a national award.

Garnett Wharfe, a David Wilson Homes development in Otley, was presented with a National Planning Award for Use of New Technology at the virtual 2020 Planning Awards in September.

The accolade was in recognition of ‘the innovative technology used throughout the build’ at the riverside site.

Built on a former landfill plot Garnett Wharfe is made up of 194 two, three, four and five bedroom homes along with a visitor centre - which is yet to open - with office space and an educational resource focused on hydroelectricity.

Barratt Developments - which owns David Wilson Homes - put measures in place before the building phase of the project to clean the previously contaminated land and river to protect the surrounding environment.

Two fish passes, to enable and help fish migration, were also installed in the River Wharfe with further measures introduced to encourage and benefit the existing otter and bat populations on site.

The housebuilder also installed a hydroelectric system and specially designed twin Archimedes screw turbine on Otley Weir. The resulting electricity is being fed into the National Grid.

Planning Award judges praised the development for being ‘a fantastic example of technology being used for environmental gain and also to hugely benefit residents’.

Land and Development Director from Barratt Developments Yorkshire West, David Coe, said: “We are thrilled to have secured the award for Use of New Technology in Planning from the National Planning Awards.

“Garnett Wharfe is a brilliant example of how developments can use their surrounding environments to deliver high quality, sustainable homes that preserve habitats and encourage wildlife in local areas.

“Garnett Wharfe is up for a second award too, for Planning Excellence at the Royal Town Planning Institute Yorkshire Awards - so we’re very excited to see how it performs at the virtual awards in November!” For more details on Barratt’s other developments in Yorkshire visit

Paper production finally ceased at Garnett Mill, whose origins stretch back to the 18th Century, in 2005.