6,000 homes plan for South Lakes: The winners and losers

First published in Grange-over-Sands news

THERE was joy and despair yesterday after a long-awaited housing and employment blueprint for South Lakeland was published.

Residents across the district learned whether or not major housing developments could be built on their doorsteps.

The detail is contained in a South Lakeland District Council document which highlights where nearly 6,000 new homes, many on greenfield sites, could be created.

It follows months of consultations, which generated 4,651 responses from 3,200 people and organisations.

They have prompted major changes to the original proposals, including the scrapping of plans for Appleby Road and Burton Road, Kendal, until at least 2025, and the permanent removal of Grange Fell at Grange-over-Sands.

However, a 150-homes site south of Underbarrow Road at Kendal has now been included.

Key proposals in the Land Allocations Document now include: l 1,961 houses in Kendal, plus employment sites at Scroggs Wood, Burton Road and a major extension north of Meadowbank Business Park l 1,193 houses in Ulvers-ton, with employment at Lightburn Road and Canal Head l 497 houses for Grange-over-Sands l186 houses for Milnthorpe l 121 houses for Kirkby Lonsdale The council intends that 35 per cent of all new homes built are ‘affordable’.

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Scores of houses are also proposed in villages across the district, including more than 100 each in Swarth-moor, Holme, Endmoor, Burton-in-Kendal, and Alli-thwaite.

Planning consent would need to be obtained before any schemes went ahead but the fact a site has tacit council approval would make it easier for applicants to win permission.

* Members of the public can have their say on whether they think the council followed the proper procedure during the consultations, or whether they believe that potential sites are deliverable and sustainable. To have your views considered by the planning inspector, representations must be made during the consultation period which starts in February. Email developmentplans@southlakeland.gov.uk, or write to South Lakeland District Council, Development Strategy Team, South Lakeland House, Lowther Street, Kendal, LA9 4UD. The proposals will be discussed at a special council meeting next Wednesday when opponents are expec-ted to turn out in force.

There was delight from nearby residents when they learned that a proposal to site 300 homes off Appleby Road at Kendal did not make the final document.

“It’s brilliant news - I’m happy and relieved that the council has listened to people in the area,” said Will Garnett, who led opposition.

Dennis Reed, chair of the Green Spaces Co-ordinating Committee in Kendal, said he was not happy with the level of greenfield development in the plan, and Pat-ricia Hovey, of Kendal Civic Society, said she wanted to see a better use of Kendal’s vacant buildings, such as pubs and spaces above shops before turning to new housing developments.

“We’re not against housing but the sort of houses that are being proposed are not for local people, they are for those who are retired and want second homes or places to be rented out.”

Coun Peter Thornton, South Lakeland’s portfolio holder for housing, said: “This has not been an easy process, but one which needs to be done. South Lakeland, as with the rest of the UK, faces a housing crisis with too much demand for too little supply. We need to address that for the future.

“if we do not put this plan in place then development will happen in an uncontrolled way.”

After next Wednesday’s SLDC meeting, when the document is likely to be approved, there will be six-weeks of public consultation.

In April the document will be submitted to Secretary of State Eric Pickles who will then appoint a planning inspector to examine it.

Examination hearings will be held in June and July and the document could be adopted by the council in October.

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