Braithwaite campaigners’ joy at ‘safety’ works

Keighley News: Barbara Archer, right, joins fellow BANDAG supporters at the disputed site in North Dean Avenue, Keighley, which will now undergo junction safety improvements in the New Year Barbara Archer, right, joins fellow BANDAG supporters at the disputed site in North Dean Avenue, Keighley, which will now undergo junction safety improvements in the New Year

A Braithwaite pressure group is celebrating after hearing improvement work is due to begin at a junction on the estate.

But BANDAG said it was still concerned about other aspects of Barratt Homes’ Vision housing development off North Dean Avenue.

BANDAG – the Braithwaite and North Dean Action Group – has repeatedly raised safety concerns regarding construction traffic and road access to the site.

Keighley MP Kris Hopkins recently met with members and passed their concerns on to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

And BANDAG members were this week overjoyed to discover long-awaited work at the estate’s junction with North Dean Avenue is due to begin next month.

The avenue itself will be widened, there will be parking restrictions around the junction and new street lighting will be installed.

BANDAG spokesman, Malcolm Balmforth, said. “We have been told North Dean Avenue will be widened to the stipulated minimum seven metres.

“After two years’ reporting these works have not been carried out, we have finally been told the work is to start in the New Year!”

Councillor Val Slater, Bradford Council’s executive member for planning, housing and transport, said it often took many months for such work to be carried out because all parties had to sign complicated legal agreements.

She added: “It’s taken some time, but this is the planning process. Barratt is going to adhere to the planning agreements, and the work will be starting in January.”

Coun Slater said a Bradford Council enforcement officer regularly visited the Vision site to ensure Barratt is complying with agreements.

Mr Hopkins said: “I was advised an HSE inspector has visited the site on more than one occasion to examine a number of issues, including in relation to fencing, traffic management and site security.

“The HSE is now engaged in what he described as ‘ongoing intervention’ with the contractor, and I was promised an update from the principal inspector setting out an agreed approach to addressing any outstanding risks.”

A Bradford Council planning service spokesman said various allegations relating to planning conditions had been investigated and resolved.

The spokesman added: “There are also ongoing investigations into breaches of condition regarding the hours of construction work and implementation of wheel-washing facilities.

“It has been confirmed there are no proposed changes to the width of the main access to the site. However, an existing section of North Dene Avenue will be widened by the council to help improve traffic safety generally, but this is not a requirement of the planning permission given to the developers.”

Barratt Homes Yorkshire West managing director, Ian Ruthven, said: “Following a detailed planning negotiation, which started in May 2010, Barratt Homes has continued to comply strictly in accordance with the highway and planning authorities, and will continue to do so moving forward.”

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