SLDC Local Plan will 'spoil Ulverston,' say residents at council meeting

The Westmorland Gazette: Resident Linda White speaks at the meeting and appeals to SLDC to think again Resident Linda White speaks at the meeting and appeals to SLDC to think again

RESIDENTS have been defeated in a bid to stop green fields being included in a major affordable housing plan which threatens to ‘spoil Ulverston.’

Ulverston resident Lynda White and Cross-a-Moor householder Anthony Bartlett both attended and spoke at a full meeting of South Lakeland District Council to air their concerns.

The pair outlined their concerns as the council met to rule on whether to adopt its Local Plan - a controversial housing blueprint.

It identifies dozens of greenfield sites where 5277 homes and 20 business sites across South Lakeland may go in future.

Mrs White, an Ulverston resident for 27 years, said she was concerned about the inclusion of a housing site at Union Lane Fields, Ulverston.

She told the council the site was added to the plan then removed and then reinstated - without the knowledge of residents and some councillors.

Mrs White, of Mowings Lane, said: “No member of the public spoke up at previous (council) hearings because no one knew it had been included.

“When the confirmation of the inclusion of this site came to light towards the end of August, 57 letters of objection followed in the space of a few days before the September 5 deadline.”

Meanwhile, Mr Bartlett said he had recently bought a property a Cross-a-Moor close to where houses could now be built.

He told the council he feared the impact of traffic emerging onto the A590 from the busy crossroads.

Mr Bartlett said: “This is one of the busiest parts of the A590 - is there going to be a roundabout? The impact of these houses getting built is going to create a backlog on the A590. Why build on the beauty of the countryside when there’s other sites to build on like the Old Brewery or North Lonsdale Road?”

Lib Dem coun Jonathan Brook, whose portfolio is responsible for the housing, thanked both residents for speaking at the meeting.

But he told them: “The individual sites have all been debated and viewed by the (planning) inspector and our role tonight is not too look at those individual sites but to formally adopt this plan.

“The only decision before council tonight is whether to adopt the Local Plan Land Allocations or not. It cannot be adopted in part.”

After a vote of 32 for and 13 against, it was adopted in full by the Lib Dem majority on the council with Labour support.

After the meeting, Mrs White said she was disappointed and said there were inconsistencies in the transport statement for the site concerning the potential amount of traffic it could generate.

She said: "I do not accept that adequate consultation has taken place with regards to the inclusion of Union Lane Fields.  SLDC are still to explain to the residents of Ulverston why this site was added at such a late stage in the process despite being asked to do so several times at the public meeting, which incidentally only took place on 11th December 2013 some three months after the deadline for submissions to the planning inspector."

And Conservative Ulverston councillor Amanda Rigg, said: “Ulverston is a beautiful, historic, friendly market town and the amount of 1247 new homes built on our green field sites is ludicrous. This amount equates to a quarter of the present Ulverston housing and would change and spoil Ulverston.”

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