Controversial Grange planning application given the go ahead

The Westmorland Gazette: Controversial Grange planning application given the go ahead Controversial Grange planning application given the go ahead

A SPRAWLING housing estate is to be built in a South Lakeland town despite fears it could lead to flooding and a fatality on the roads. A 42-home development in Grange has been rubber-stamped by the district council’s planning committee, despite it being branded ‘a recipe for disaster’ by the leader of the town’s council, Tom Harvey. “You cannot put a price on safety,” he told the committee. “We support development but we need housing that is affordable and enhances the area where it is built and doesn’t impact on the surrounding area. “But this is neither.” The development will be located off Allithwaite Road and will include 14 ‘affordable’ homes. It will be a mixture of bungalows, terraces and larger detached and semi-detached homes described as ‘bland’, ‘alien’ and ‘uneconomical’ by some district council planners. Hundreds of residents sent letters of objection to the district council ahead of the meeting, raising concerns about the suitability of the site, with issues including a percieved lack of visibility on the road at the entrance to the estate. “I’m sure it’s likely someone will be seriously injured or killed on the main road,” said Susan Jackson, of nearby Cardrona Court. “We hired a highways consultant and he proved it was a very dangerous road with speeds ranging between 35.6 and 44.3mph. “If a mum and her children were crossing and a car came along at that speed there’s no way it would be able to stop.” Several also said developers, Russell Armer, had not put up a good enough drainage plan - and nearby homes could be at risk of flooding. “They simply don’t know what will happen and are hoping for the best,” said Coun Harvey. At the planning meeting, held controversially in Kendal rather than Grange, the application was discussed for around three hours. Coun John Holmes moved to refuse the application, saying it would be ‘too much of a risk’. “We’ve got a proposed drainage system that might work. Clearly it also might not,” he said. But the motion was later defeated and it was proposed the application be accepted, subject to conditions. “Sometimes our hearts can get in the way of our heads,” said Coun Mary Wilson. “But if we let our hearts rule we wouldn’t make very good decisions.” Speaking after the meeting, Coun Harvey told the Gazette he was ‘astonished’ the committee came to the decision it did. “Nearly every councillor spoke at the meeting about how they echoed our thoughts over the serious drainage concerns,” he said. “Those councillors opposed to the application gave very clear and reasoned arguments against, whereas those voting it through seemed to do so on the basis that they had no other option.” He added: “It didn't show some of our elected representatives in the best light.”

Comments (2)

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11:05am Mon 3 Mar 14

Stargazeratdawn says...

Whilst I agree that the decision on the site of this development leaves much to be desired, I also struggle with somewhat of a 'not in my backyard' reaction I've observed locally. Grange is changing yet, may retain its charm and character. I sense that some people try their hardest to resist this. I can understand their fears. Many older people here were not born in the area and retired here with the vision of a Grange of the past. But, Booths is coming and who knows, maybe Tesco too. There is an evident increase in families with children. Grange has a great future but change is the only constant in life. This development is needed albeit, again, I don't applaud where it will end up. I doubt my comments will find popularity but, we need to be more forward thinking here..
Whilst I agree that the decision on the site of this development leaves much to be desired, I also struggle with somewhat of a 'not in my backyard' reaction I've observed locally. Grange is changing yet, may retain its charm and character. I sense that some people try their hardest to resist this. I can understand their fears. Many older people here were not born in the area and retired here with the vision of a Grange of the past. But, Booths is coming and who knows, maybe Tesco too. There is an evident increase in families with children. Grange has a great future but change is the only constant in life. This development is needed albeit, again, I don't applaud where it will end up. I doubt my comments will find popularity but, we need to be more forward thinking here.. Stargazeratdawn
  • Score: 5

4:06pm Mon 3 Mar 14

Do something don't moan says...

We were told the PA at the Victoria Hall was not up to scratch despite the Chair of the Committee being content. The system used at Kendal Town Hall was worse. Many members were barely audible and the Chair did virtually nothing to confirm the public attending were able to follow proceedings.

Many in Grange are content to accept and embrace change providing it is positive.

It appears the views of the Planning Officers take precedence over those of the residents affected. So much for democracy! Perhaps the electorate of those Councillors who voted to approve this application should take note and watch their own back yards very carefully in the future.

Perhaps SLDC should make an effort to maintain the existing infrastructure, e.g. The Promenade, before imposing unwelcome developments on our community. The money spent on the recent survey should have gone towards repairing the railings!
We were told the PA at the Victoria Hall was not up to scratch despite the Chair of the Committee being content. The system used at Kendal Town Hall was worse. Many members were barely audible and the Chair did virtually nothing to confirm the public attending were able to follow proceedings. Many in Grange are content to accept and embrace change providing it is positive. It appears the views of the Planning Officers take precedence over those of the residents affected. So much for democracy! Perhaps the electorate of those Councillors who voted to approve this application should take note and watch their own back yards very carefully in the future. Perhaps SLDC should make an effort to maintain the existing infrastructure, e.g. The Promenade, before imposing unwelcome developments on our community. The money spent on the recent survey should have gone towards repairing the railings! Do something don't moan
  • Score: 2

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