Windermere Town Council give thumbs down to multi-million pound shoreline development (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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Windermere Town Council give thumbs down to multi-million pound shoreline development
11:04pm Monday 28th October 2013 in News
MULTI-MILLION pound plans to regenerate the shores of Windermere have been given the thumbs down by the town council for the second time.
South Lakeland District Council withdrew the £2m Ferry Nab proposal last month for what they called 'further discussions'.
It has now re-submitted and SLDC were looking to take Windermere town council backing when the plan goes before the Lake District National Park Authority.
The proposal, which is currently open to public consultation, includes a new building, jetties and parking spaces and a new outdoor adventure centre.
Coun Giles Archibald, portfolio holder for town centres and small business, told a meeting of the town council that plans had been re-submitted so soon because of time and financial constraints.
"Once you have a programme in place you want to keep the momentum or it will fall," he said.
"There is a financial plan and if we delay we are putting it in jeopardy. If you reject this it could reduce significantly the chance of it proceeding."
But tonight town councillors voted eight to three in favour of recommending refusal - mainly on the grounds of the building's design, which was described by coun David Williams, as a 'Mr Blobby' building.
Coun and meeting chair Kathleen Atkinson said it was evident there was agreement with much of the plan but Bill Smith added: "It shouldn't be a decision borne out of panic but a good commercial decision."
SLDC's Assistant Director for Strategic Planning, Michael Keane, said the building plans were not set in stone and offered up alternative designs using different materials and colours.
"We would like to work with you in coming up with a design more appreciative of the area," he said.
Concerns were also raised about the felling of trees, potential damage to the environment and the negative affect it could have on local businesses.
Karen Schwerdt, of Maiden Marine, which is 500 yards away from the proposed development, warned her family-run boating business would suffer if competition was to come into the area.
"We wouldn't be able to compete with the prices SLDC would be able to offer - it would be a disaster for us," she said.
"We understand there does need to be improvement of facilities on the lake but this is in direct opposition to our business and others.
"Another retail space would put us out of business."
However coun John Saunders warned the money could be lost altogether.
"Strenuous efforts have been made to come up with these new designs. I think we need to consider the impact not supporting this might have. The money could be lost and nothing will happen in that area for several years to come," he said.
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