Councillors criticise housing developer over road safety work

Park Lane in Queensbury (Google Street view)
Park Lane in Queensbury (Google Street view)

COUNCILLORS have criticised a housing developer after it emerged it has still to fund road safety works it first agreed to over five years ago.

If the funding does not arrive soon, enforcement action could be taken to secure it.

Dozens of people recently signed a petition calling for new road safety measures to be installed at Park Lane in Queensbury.

The road, which links Scarlet Heights and Brighouse Road, is narrow and has no pedestrian space. Fifty-one people signed a petition calling for better facilities on the road, including a footway for pedestrians and possibly making the road one-way.

At a meeting of Bradford Council’s Bradford South Area Committee last week, members discussed the petition, and were told that that plans to improve the road date back several years.

In 2013 Bellway Homes was granted planning permission to build 124 houses at Harrowins Farm, just off Park Lane. One of the conditions of this application was that the developer fund a traffic-calming scheme on Park Lane, as well as work to improve visibility at the visibility at Park Lane/Scarlet Heights junction.

At the Area Committee meeting members were told that this work had still not happened, and that over five years after it was agreed the Council was still in “negotiations” with Bellway over the scheme.

Andrew Smith, Principal Highways Engineer, said: “We have come up with a series of proposals for this location – the issue we have had is securing funding. The agreement is already in place. Recently negotiations have appeared more hopeful, so we hope the funding for these roadworks is forthcoming. If it isn’t then we may look at planning enforcement action to secure the funding.”

Councillor David Warburton (Lab, Wyke) said: “I think that the Assistant Director of Planning should write a strongly worded letter to the developer with regards to the time scale of these works.

“If they don’t come back with a scheme and funding in a short period of time we should take court action.”

Councillor Lynda Cromie (Queensbury Ward Independents) said: “This road isn’t safe for motorists or pedestrians.”

Mr Smith said one reason for the delay was that the agreement with the developer, called a 106 agreement, was vague – not specifying cost or what type of traffic-calming it should be. He said this is what led to the convoluted discussing with Bellway, adding: “It is not a fantastically-worded agreement.”

The panel voted to give Bellway three months to come back with a traffic calming scheme that includes costings and a time scale.

The development, called Queenshead Park, includes properties that are on sale for as much as £260,000.

Bellway has been contacted for a response.