Public inquiry into South Lakeland District Council's Land Allocations Document 'suspended'

First published in News The Westmorland Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

AN inquiry into a council’s plans to zone land for housing and business development has been suspended until next year, it was revealed today.

South Lakeland District Council asked for hearings into its Land Allocations Document to be halted so a ‘number of issues’ raised so far could be ‘investigated thoroughly’.

Specifics around what the issues might be were not divulged by the council, but it comes after claims that schools might not cope if the document is formally adopted.

Planning inspector Simon Berkeley agreed to the authority’s request but Coun James Airey, leader of SLDC’s Conservative Opposition, which voted against the document, labelled the situation a ‘farce’.

The inquiry had been due to resume for two days from this Thursday (November 22) at Kendal Town Hall.

An SLDC spokesman said examination of the plans was a ‘long and complicated’ process which needed to be thorough.

The spokesman continued: “Additional issues have been raised during the hearings that have taken place and SLDC needs to ensure that these are thoroughly investigated and reported on.

“In order to achieve this we felt it best to ask for a suspension of the hearings to give us the time to put the reports together and provide opportunity for parties to read and understand before the examination hearings resume.”

Coun Airey hit out: “The inspector is quite rightly giving SLDC a rough ride over this unsound document.”

He said that the council had ‘failed to listen’ to concerns over the document, adding: “Now the whole process is in complete chaos and looking like a farce.”

SLDC shadow deputy leader, Coun Tom Harvey, added: “SLDC simply haven’t got their facts straight going in and now they’re paying the price.

“This is what happens when you run roughshod over communities.”

Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron said: “It's about giving more time to get this right, so the more consultation the better.

“To criticise the council for giving people the chance to have their voices heard is very odd.”

The public inquiry is trying to establish whether the document, which identifies potential areas to accommodate 6,000 homes in South Lakeland by 2025, is ‘sound’.

In October, the inquiry was told that Kendal’s schools would be unable to cope if the plans were OK’d.

The claim was made in evidence gathered by Cumbria County Council, which stated that two more primary schools would be required and the town's two secondary schools would be pushed above capacity.

Comments (18)

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5:54pm Mon 19 Nov 12

oceancloud says...

An SLDC spokesman said examination of the plans was a ‘long and complicated’ process which needed to be thorough.

Isn't that funny, many people have being saying that all along but these muppets don't take any notice, not until today anyway. I wonder if the inspector may have had a say in the decision as well !!
An SLDC spokesman said examination of the plans was a ‘long and complicated’ process which needed to be thorough. Isn't that funny, many people have being saying that all along but these muppets don't take any notice, not until today anyway. I wonder if the inspector may have had a say in the decision as well !! oceancloud
  • Score: 0

7:52pm Mon 19 Nov 12

Ben Berry says...

oh dear....
oh dear.... Ben Berry
  • Score: 0

8:40pm Mon 19 Nov 12

onelocal says...

Although the SLDC requested a suspension of the LAD inquiry until March 2013, the inspector in his reply believed that this was somewhat ambitious. He felt that, in view of the work and consultations required, that he could not set a future time for resuming the inquiry. The councils application for suspension, and the inspectors response can be seen on the SLDC web site.
At last someone has brought the SLDC bulldozer to a halt.
This is the second major setback for the LibDems and SLDC in five days.
Although the SLDC requested a suspension of the LAD inquiry until March 2013, the inspector in his reply believed that this was somewhat ambitious. He felt that, in view of the work and consultations required, that he could not set a future time for resuming the inquiry. The councils application for suspension, and the inspectors response can be seen on the SLDC web site. At last someone has brought the SLDC bulldozer to a halt. This is the second major setback for the LibDems and SLDC in five days. onelocal
  • Score: 0

10:24pm Mon 19 Nov 12

blade stall says...

It all sounds so mind numbingly familiar. Its not 'democratic' but when you ask every tom dick and harry for an opinion in a 'consultation' you have those who are happy and those who are not. When discord breaks out its only fair to spend more money on a 'public enquiry'... If we need more homes.. build them. If we need more schools.. build them. The whole world seems terrified of upsetting people... to make an ommellete you need to break a few eggs.
It all sounds so mind numbingly familiar. Its not 'democratic' but when you ask every tom dick and harry for an opinion in a 'consultation' you have those who are happy and those who are not. When discord breaks out its only fair to spend more money on a 'public enquiry'... If we need more homes.. build them. If we need more schools.. build them. The whole world seems terrified of upsetting people... to make an ommellete you need to break a few eggs. blade stall
  • Score: 0

1:24pm Tue 20 Nov 12

Hoad Hill says...

It seems that the inspector is taking notice of the concerns expressed during the consultation periods by thousands of residents, which our arrogant council totally ignored.
This has now descended into a farce and the LibDems should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.
As for the planners who have spent an inordinate amount of time, at considerable expense, on this exercise...well they haven't exactly covered themselves in glory.
All of you at SLDC should remember that you are there to serve the residents of South Lakes, not rule them.
It seems that the inspector is taking notice of the concerns expressed during the consultation periods by thousands of residents, which our arrogant council totally ignored. This has now descended into a farce and the LibDems should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves. As for the planners who have spent an inordinate amount of time, at considerable expense, on this exercise...well they haven't exactly covered themselves in glory. All of you at SLDC should remember that you are there to serve the residents of South Lakes, not rule them. Hoad Hill
  • Score: 1

1:42pm Tue 20 Nov 12

onelocal says...

Looks like this story is creating some heat on Twitter

Peter Thornton‏@PeterTho
rnton10
@martinlewes You may want to ask James for his evidence for his (3 so far) libels? Perhaps I should consult the lawyers of the noble Lord!

Cllr James Airey‏@JamesCllr
I have said nothing remotely libelous...but if you want to waste your money! Not scare tactics again surely?

Prudence Mary Jupe‏@PruJupe
@JamesCllr I have discovered myself that a few in your party sail very close to the wind. I will keep a close legal eye on you all.
Looks like this story is creating some heat on Twitter Peter Thornton‏@PeterTho rnton10 @martinlewes You may want to ask James for his evidence for his (3 so far) libels? Perhaps I should consult the lawyers of the noble Lord! Cllr James Airey‏@JamesCllr I have said nothing remotely libelous...but if you want to waste your money! Not scare tactics again surely? Prudence Mary Jupe‏@PruJupe @JamesCllr I have discovered myself that a few in your party sail very close to the wind. I will keep a close legal eye on you all. onelocal
  • Score: 0

3:07pm Tue 20 Nov 12

boris plasticmac says...

The thinking about this plan started back in 2008, so four and a half years later it ill becomes a SLDC spokesman to say that it's examination has been "long and complicated".
Anybody who has been following this saga knows that we have been making responses to consultations, responses to futher consultations and reponses to further further consultations for what feels like a lifetime.
This further postponement is a disgrace and reflects badly on the competence of both Officers and Councillors .
The thinking about this plan started back in 2008, so four and a half years later it ill becomes a SLDC spokesman to say that it's examination has been "long and complicated". Anybody who has been following this saga knows that we have been making responses to consultations, responses to futher consultations and reponses to further further consultations for what feels like a lifetime. This further postponement is a disgrace and reflects badly on the competence of both Officers and Councillors . boris plasticmac
  • Score: 0

3:32pm Tue 20 Nov 12

onelocal says...

The councillors' twitter exchange begs the question, should one elected councillor be threatening "to keep a close legal eye" on members of another party. Is this a conflict of interest? Doesn't SLDC have its own independent legal officer to do this? Seems this could stifle debate amongst our elected representatives.
The councillors' twitter exchange begs the question, should one elected councillor be threatening "to keep a close legal eye" on members of another party. Is this a conflict of interest? Doesn't SLDC have its own independent legal officer to do this? Seems this could stifle debate amongst our elected representatives. onelocal
  • Score: 0

4:26pm Tue 20 Nov 12

oceancloud says...

"Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron said: “It's about giving more time to get this right, so the more consultation the better".

Unfortunately an unprecedented number of submissions did not stop the Lib Dem councillors voting the plan through. This was followed by thousands of signatures on an e petition which was also rejected by the Lib Dems. Then Farron says that, its a joke! Sorry Tim lad you've lost my vote.
"Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron said: “It's about giving more time to get this right, so the more consultation the better". Unfortunately an unprecedented number of submissions did not stop the Lib Dem councillors voting the plan through. This was followed by thousands of signatures on an e petition which was also rejected by the Lib Dems. Then Farron says that, its a joke! Sorry Tim lad you've lost my vote. oceancloud
  • Score: 0

5:20pm Tue 20 Nov 12

in despair says...

To have to ask for a four month suspension of a Hearing after so many years preparing a Plan is an absolute disgrace. It would seem that the LibDem Cabinet on SLDC have a great deal to answer for having pushed this through against some very well argued and thoroughly justified responses to the many consultations.
It is time for Cllr Thornton to resign; for the LibDem whipping process to be withdrawn; for local councillors to start doing what they are there for - represent their constituents not pander to the party hierarchy. As for Farron's comment about consutation being a good thing - it is if the results are taken note of - but LibDems do not do that.
To have to ask for a four month suspension of a Hearing after so many years preparing a Plan is an absolute disgrace. It would seem that the LibDem Cabinet on SLDC have a great deal to answer for having pushed this through against some very well argued and thoroughly justified responses to the many consultations. It is time for Cllr Thornton to resign; for the LibDem whipping process to be withdrawn; for local councillors to start doing what they are there for - represent their constituents not pander to the party hierarchy. As for Farron's comment about consutation being a good thing - it is if the results are taken note of - but LibDems do not do that. in despair
  • Score: 0

6:21pm Tue 20 Nov 12

fourcandles says...

Wow. How incompetent can you get?! So much time and so many consultations and they still can't get it right. They couldn't organise a drinking session in a beer making facility.

Here's an idea - how about saving our beautiful green surroundings and concentrating on getting affordable housing on brown field sites and utilising the hundreds of empty properties in the area??!
Wow. How incompetent can you get?! So much time and so many consultations and they still can't get it right. They couldn't organise a drinking session in a beer making facility. Here's an idea - how about saving our beautiful green surroundings and concentrating on getting affordable housing on brown field sites and utilising the hundreds of empty properties in the area??! fourcandles
  • Score: 0

11:29am Wed 21 Nov 12

Hoad Hill says...

onelocal wrote:
The councillors' twitter exchange begs the question, should one elected councillor be threatening "to keep a close legal eye" on members of another party. Is this a conflict of interest? Doesn't SLDC have its own independent legal officer to do this? Seems this could stifle debate amongst our elected representatives.
Should our councillors be wasting their time insulting each other on Twitter at all?
They are behaving like a bunch of early teenage school girls (apologies to all school girls).
One of the main participants claims not have time to answer emails from his electors yet seems to spend a great deal of time Tweeting. Get a grip girls...you're elected to do a job...get on with it!
[quote][p][bold]onelocal[/bold] wrote: The councillors' twitter exchange begs the question, should one elected councillor be threatening "to keep a close legal eye" on members of another party. Is this a conflict of interest? Doesn't SLDC have its own independent legal officer to do this? Seems this could stifle debate amongst our elected representatives.[/p][/quote]Should our councillors be wasting their time insulting each other on Twitter at all? They are behaving like a bunch of early teenage school girls (apologies to all school girls). One of the main participants claims not have time to answer emails from his electors yet seems to spend a great deal of time Tweeting. Get a grip girls...you're elected to do a job...get on with it! Hoad Hill
  • Score: 0

11:38am Wed 21 Nov 12

Hoad Hill says...

And let's not forget that the very people responsible for this foul up were the same ones who 'inadvertently' made public the email addresses of everyone who took part in the, now totally discredited, consultations.
The Information Commissioner let them off very lightly indeed.
And let's not forget that the very people responsible for this foul up were the same ones who 'inadvertently' made public the email addresses of everyone who took part in the, now totally discredited, consultations. The Information Commissioner let them off very lightly indeed. Hoad Hill
  • Score: 0

1:16pm Wed 21 Nov 12

life cycle too says...

"In October, the inquiry was told that Kendal’s schools would be unable to cope if the plans were OK’d.

The claim was made in evidence gathered by Cumbria County Council, which stated that two more primary schools would be required and the town's two secondary schools would be pushed above capacity."

If you put the consultation in the hands of novices who were inexperienced, you might expect such a detail to be overlooked... so can we conclude that SLDC ARE in fact novices, or just plain incompetent? if so, what else have they got wrong?
"In October, the inquiry was told that Kendal’s schools would be unable to cope if the plans were OK’d. The claim was made in evidence gathered by Cumbria County Council, which stated that two more primary schools would be required and the town's two secondary schools would be pushed above capacity." If you put the consultation in the hands of novices who were inexperienced, you might expect such a detail to be overlooked... so can we conclude that SLDC ARE in fact novices, or just plain incompetent? if so, what else have they got wrong? life cycle too
  • Score: 0

2:55pm Wed 21 Nov 12

boris plasticmac says...

I have just read Cllr Thornton's statement about the land allocation postponement in which he states:-
"We have received many skilful and challenging arguements from groups and individuals in this process" "We welcome these these challenges and now need to answer them thoroughly to ensure all involved know they are part of the process and have been listened too. As we have done throughout the whole process"

I would contest the "listened too " part of this statement. The problem has been that throughout the preparation of this plan SLDC has only listened to the developer side of the equation and not the genuine concerns of the public. From the council meeting in January, when the whipped Lib Dems accepted this deeply flawed document to the rejection of the petition in May, SLDC have been deaf to these concerns. Now when the Inspector raises his doubts about the plan they have suddenly become the listening council.
As somebody who once described the objectors as "Nimbys" I think Cllr Thornton's statement has been made as part of a public relations exercise to cover the omnishambles of this Land Allocations Examination .
I have just read Cllr Thornton's statement about the land allocation postponement in which he states:- "We have received many skilful and challenging arguements from groups and individuals in this process" "We welcome these these challenges and now need to answer them thoroughly to ensure all involved know they are part of the process and have been listened too. As we have done throughout the whole process" I would contest the "listened too " part of this statement. The problem has been that throughout the preparation of this plan SLDC has only listened to the developer side of the equation and not the genuine concerns of the public. From the council meeting in January, when the whipped Lib Dems accepted this deeply flawed document to the rejection of the petition in May, SLDC have been deaf to these concerns. Now when the Inspector raises his doubts about the plan they have suddenly become the listening council. As somebody who once described the objectors as "Nimbys" I think Cllr Thornton's statement has been made as part of a public relations exercise to cover the omnishambles of this Land Allocations Examination . boris plasticmac
  • Score: 0

8:54am Thu 22 Nov 12

laker1 says...

This is what happens when you get a load of amateurs elected to important positions on the shirt tail of a two faced MP. Without Farron, none of them would have got elected on their own merit, or certainly none would have been reelected after making such monumental **** up's in their first term of office. The fact is that at every election Farron trundles out the clap trap of how the Lib Dem candidate is the best person for the area and unfortunately, the masses who haven't seen through him, believe him - hence you get what we have at the moment. The Liberals got an extremely bloody nose last week, being totally rejected by the people who voted. There will be another chance to do that in the spring with the County Council elections. The message of Liberal incompetence needs to be trumpeted far and wide and lets get rid of these muppets once and for all
This is what happens when you get a load of amateurs elected to important positions on the shirt tail of a two faced MP. Without Farron, none of them would have got elected on their own merit, or certainly none would have been reelected after making such monumental **** up's in their first term of office. The fact is that at every election Farron trundles out the clap trap of how the Lib Dem candidate is the best person for the area and unfortunately, the masses who haven't seen through him, believe him - hence you get what we have at the moment. The Liberals got an extremely bloody nose last week, being totally rejected by the people who voted. There will be another chance to do that in the spring with the County Council elections. The message of Liberal incompetence needs to be trumpeted far and wide and lets get rid of these muppets once and for all laker1
  • Score: 0

8:56am Thu 22 Nov 12

laker1 says...

As regards my previous posting, the WG censor seems to have taken exception to a word I used. Just to clarify the point, the word didn't start with the 6th letter of the alphabet!!
As regards my previous posting, the WG censor seems to have taken exception to a word I used. Just to clarify the point, the word didn't start with the 6th letter of the alphabet!! laker1
  • Score: 0

9:01pm Fri 23 Nov 12

A view From Cumbria says...

It takes a rare degree of cheek from Prue Jupe to complain about the contents of Conservative leaflets considering the contents of leaflets distributed on her behalf in the recent PCC elections.

The fact is that Lib Dems do not expect to be held accountable for the tendentious contents of their own leaflets. There were four disingenuous statements in leaflets distributed in the elections last May, one, concerning the Conservative position on the Council Tax was a self-evident lie. None of them has ever apolgised.

Kermit the Frog AKA Tim Farron and his diamond signs are modern-day proof of the sagacity of the 16th President, "You can fool some of the people all of the time".


This debacle could have been avoided if some of the Lib Dem councillors had actually read the LAD before they put up their hands in support of Peter Thornton's railroading motion.
It takes a rare degree of cheek from Prue Jupe to complain about the contents of Conservative leaflets considering the contents of leaflets distributed on her behalf in the recent PCC elections. The fact is that Lib Dems do not expect to be held accountable for the tendentious contents of their own leaflets. There were four disingenuous statements in leaflets distributed in the elections last May, one, concerning the Conservative position on the Council Tax was a self-evident lie. None of them has ever apolgised. Kermit the Frog AKA Tim Farron and his diamond signs are modern-day proof of the sagacity of the 16th President, "You can fool some of the people all of the time". This debacle could have been avoided if some of the Lib Dem councillors had actually read the LAD before they put up their hands in support of Peter Thornton's railroading motion. A view From Cumbria
  • Score: 0

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