A Forfar primary school has been given the green light to become the first in the area to police its own parking.
Following a successful pilot scheme after complaints about the dangers posed by irresponsible driving and parking in the car park at Whitehills, councillors have approved lifting a planning condition requiring the school gates to remain open throughout the day.
The school’s parent partnership group led the drive to close the gates at the primary from 8.45 to 9.15am and 3 to 3.30pm after concerns about child safety due to congestion and parking in the drop-off zone.
Planning official Alan Hunter said safety had improved “significantly” during the trial period.
“Children were walking thought the car park area, vehicles were moving around and it was an issue of significant concern to the school and parent partnership,” he told Angus development standards committee councillors.
The car park ban plan attracted several objections, including claims it would simply move the problem to the narrow streets in the vicinity of the primary.
Concerns were also raised in relation to access for blue badge holders and school deliveries.
Councillors heard access to the school at the key times would be controlled by a janitor, which would also allow pupil transport taxis and school buses entry.
Mr Hunter said: “The assessment of the trial period was that the situation was safer for children and those are operational issues which will be matters for the school.”
Forfar Independent councillor Ian McLaren said: “I fully support this on the grounds of road safety and am pleased an arrangement has been made for blue badge holders to access the car park when the gates are closed.”
“I would also like the roads department to consider flashing speed restriction signs at appropriate times on Market Street and Prior Road.”
Arbroath West and Letham Liberal Democrat Richard Moore said: “I do have some concerns about the roads around the school and I wonder how much having police and parking officers there during the trial period have skewed the result.
“When police are there people park as they should and don’t do anything wrong, but when they go it’s back to a free for all.”
Committee convener, Arbroath West and Letham Conservative David Lumgair said: “I move this with slight reservations, but it has been tried and tested in the trial period and the school will now have the control over how best to operate this.”