SOUTH Lakeland Council’s budget of £250,000 for improvements at Waterhead will create a public realm for local people to be proud of, district economic development officer Matt Williams told Lakes Parish Council.

Proposals in 2010 to spend £3million on Waterhead proved over-ambitious and came to nothing when funding failed, he said, but the plans for more modest improvements would add to the natural attractions, including resurfacing the promenade and widening it.

The creation of low walls would be used to define areas of the promenade and there would also be larger planting beds, more seats and a panorama board with funding help from Ambleside Civic Trust.


Councillors were pleased with the plans but requested signage to the Roman fort to be included, as well as more information for visitors about using the lake and shoreline, with details about canoeing and swimming.

Members of the council have worked with the national park authority, SLDC and others on the Waterhead steering group to suggest the improvements, and the work will take place in spring next year, funded by SLDC.

Councillors opposed to the creation of a bridleway and possible future cycle route between Rydal and Grasmere are to seek a legal opinion from the National Association of Local Councils on whether the park authority should give itself consent for the foot-path upgrade.

When the original permission was given, the parish council was told it would have a chance to comment if proposals came forward for an upgrade to a cycle route. Councillors were now questioning the process with a view to requesting a public inquiry.

The university was criticised by councillors for depriving local young people of the use of its tennis courts, which UoC may sell.

The courts, off Rydal Road, have been dismantled but Couns Maureen Colquhoun and Anne Sowerbutts said in principle they were designated for community use and Ambleside had lost an asset.

Others disagreed and said they had been little used and there was no demand for tennis in Ambleside.

The council will discuss whether greater use could be made of tennis courts at its White Platts recreation ground next season.

Lakes PC will also ask the university about parking for proposed new student accommodation because the Greenbank and Castlefield Residents Association feared it might cause fly-parking on their streets.

Views of the night sky for some Ambleside residents have also been lost due to new lighting at the northern access, the Association said.

Councillors have opposed an application for a cafe at White Moss car park which would spoil the open area and failed to meet the requirement of ‘essential need’ in a rural location.

Police reported 11 crimes in Ambleside and seven in Langdale and Grasmere, many associated with the holiday period, including thefts of tents, a boat, wallets and cash from hotels, as well as criminal damage, public order offences and shoplifting.

Two coaches using Satnavs had also caused obstructions by attempting to use Red Bank Road, and warning signs were needed at the top of Red Bank, police said.

Crime prevention would target caravan sites, advising about winter security, and police would visit landlords of remote rural pubs asking them to be vigilant about drink-driving customers.