Lake speedboat races are sunk by new LDNPA rules

Windermere

Windermere

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

POWERBOATERS bidding to race for two afternoons on Windermere have been blocked – sparking claims that the Lake District National Park Authority is acting ‘undemocratically’.

Windermere Motor Boat Racing Club applied to the LDNPA to lift the 10 knot speed limit on the lake for events in July and September, including its historic annual regatta and its Commodore’s Day.

It follows the success of last year’s events, which were agreed by the LDNPA and were the first exemptions to the speed limit since it came in back in 2005.

But the authority has told the club it was unlikely to win permission for the events because they did not meet a new park policy.

Drawn up by the authority last December, the policy states the speed limit will only be lifted for those events that the park considers ‘exceptional’ or ‘one-offs’.

The club has had to submit a fresh bid for consideration which has yet to be decided on, but says it feels pressured to create a ‘bigger event attracting more people’ – which goes against the club's original intention.

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Carole Shaw, head of the Windermere Lake User Forum, said: “All the club wants is two afternoons on the lake and if the National Park can’t hear that, then they are not being democratic.

“We were asked why not hold a national event on Windermere? But we really don’t think a national event is appropriate on Windermere, and we don’t think people would support it.”

Ms Shaw explained that feedback from the public following last year’s events saw 96 per cent support them which she said demonstrated a public appetite for the same again.

“But it seems to be a case of the National Park saying this is what we want - not what the bulk of the public say they want,” said Ms Shaw.

In order for last year’s event to go ahead, the Bowness-based club was required to open up its private club and grounds to the public and pay the costs of having Park rangers present during the events.  Jason Dearden, managing director of Windermere Marina Village, said: “Last year the lake was vibrant and busy during these events, and I believe they bring something to the lake and the local economy.”

But a spokesperson for the National Park said it consulted on the policy for speed limit exemptions with 22 organisations including the Windermere Lake User Forum to make sure the criteria for exemptions and application evaluation process were clear to everyone.

The spokesperson said: "Exemption to the speed limit will be rare and exceptional. If granted the event or activity must provide positive benefits to the area and adhere to safety and environmental requirements without compromising other lake users.

"The applicant must also prove why their event or activity needs to take place on Windermere and cannot be accommodated elsewhere. The ability to grant exemptions is not about encouraging activities where the speed limit can, with permission, be exceeded; it’s about considering special exemption requests within a clear framework to ensure any activities would truly add value and are in-keeping with the lake environment.

"If an application meets the criteria we open it up to consultation for six weeks to help us to make an informed decision about – approving, approving with conditions or refusing the application. 

"The management of the speed limit is at the centre of enabling Windermere to be enjoyed safely by a wider audience, while also protecting this precious natural asset."

Comments (8)

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9:46am Wed 2 Apr 14

Moonbase says...

22 Organisations consulted....wow some red tape their!
The only way you are going to breathe some fresh air into Bowness is by allowing the speed boats to return.
These are the people with the money to spend, as I've said before take a look at Lake Garda....something for everyone.
Sadly these utterly selfish nimbies have far to much control.
Rather than bringing people into the area it's far to easy to pass stupid housing plans and supermarkets.
No zip no boats = Short sightedness!!!!!!!!
22 Organisations consulted....wow some red tape their! The only way you are going to breathe some fresh air into Bowness is by allowing the speed boats to return. These are the people with the money to spend, as I've said before take a look at Lake Garda....something for everyone. Sadly these utterly selfish nimbies have far to much control. Rather than bringing people into the area it's far to easy to pass stupid housing plans and supermarkets. No zip no boats = Short sightedness!!!!!!!! Moonbase
  • Score: 14

10:20am Wed 2 Apr 14

Ben Berry says...

The Fun Police strike again.
The Fun Police strike again. Ben Berry
  • Score: 8

12:57pm Wed 2 Apr 14

johnwalker1000 says...

I wonder how many people at the LDNP actually live/work in the National Park to fully understand it? The offices on the edge of Kendal are not in the National Park so that rules out alot of the "working" aspect.
I wonder how many people at the LDNP actually live/work in the National Park to fully understand it? The offices on the edge of Kendal are not in the National Park so that rules out alot of the "working" aspect. johnwalker1000
  • Score: 11

1:12pm Wed 2 Apr 14

Whinfell Walker says...

This is terrible news for the local economy. These people are more interested in World Heritage status than the local economy!

These people need to be more open to more action packed activities on the lake, they damage the local economy with the speed limit on Windermere, if these people are not stopped our children's children will only be able to view our lovely Lake District from a computer.
This is terrible news for the local economy. These people are more interested in World Heritage status than the local economy! These people need to be more open to more action packed activities on the lake, they damage the local economy with the speed limit on Windermere, if these people are not stopped our children's children will only be able to view our lovely Lake District from a computer. Whinfell Walker
  • Score: 14

3:07pm Wed 2 Apr 14

outdoorman says...

I think we need some fresh new younger people in the LDNP !
What happened to national parks been for everyone?
I think we need some fresh new younger people in the LDNP ! What happened to national parks been for everyone? outdoorman
  • Score: 12

3:10pm Wed 2 Apr 14

outdoorman says...

As i always the LDNPA are blinkered to the rest of the people and don't see know one see'e things the same as them.
About time some fresh new people with ideas were brought forward to boost the area not misguided committees.
Why not put it to a vote? to all lake users if they would mind,i know in the past how popular these events are!
As i always the LDNPA are blinkered to the rest of the people and don't see know one see'e things the same as them. About time some fresh new people with ideas were brought forward to boost the area not misguided committees. Why not put it to a vote? to all lake users if they would mind,i know in the past how popular these events are! outdoorman
  • Score: 7

9:46am Thu 3 Apr 14

Spotty Fish says...

It's a very long time since Windemere was a natural asset. It has been so altered by man's activities that Thirlmere and Haweswater reservoirs are probably more natural, and certainly a lot more beautiful and peaceful. For God's sake, let people have some fun for two afternoons. Wake up LDNPA and listen.
It's a very long time since Windemere was a natural asset. It has been so altered by man's activities that Thirlmere and Haweswater reservoirs are probably more natural, and certainly a lot more beautiful and peaceful. For God's sake, let people have some fun for two afternoons. Wake up LDNPA and listen. Spotty Fish
  • Score: 5

4:59pm Fri 4 Apr 14

RVW6386 says...

I love the peace and quiet of the lakes but surely two days a year wouldn't hurt .Would it? If you don't want to watch the boats, and I probably wouldn't, go and visit another part of the National Park those days, there is plenty of it. I think the conference centre being built will be more damaging to the Windermere area.
I love the peace and quiet of the lakes but surely two days a year wouldn't hurt .Would it? If you don't want to watch the boats, and I probably wouldn't, go and visit another part of the National Park those days, there is plenty of it. I think the conference centre being built will be more damaging to the Windermere area. RVW6386
  • Score: 3

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