Wherever you look in South Lakeland there seems to be a planning row brewing.
Plans by Sainsbury’s for supermarkets at Ambleside and Kendal have caused consternation from some residents, although others are in support; and plans for a new supermarket at the vacant Hartley’s Brewery site in Ulverston are now going to be the subject of a judicial review.
Meanwhile, many B&B owners in Ambleside fear plans by Premier Inn to open a hotel at The Struggle will harm their trade.
This week residents have been protesting about three proposed large developments on greenfield sites in Kendal. One involves the possible building of up to 122 homes on a field next to Lumley Road; another could see a business park created on a field just south of Scroggs Wood.
Local residents fear the schemes could destroy forever the approach to Kendal - seen as the ‘gateway to the Lakes’ - by replacing pleasant countryside with densely-packed homes and business unit.
The two proposals have come from the development company of landowner Hal Bagot, of Levens Hall. The fact the company is a local one might mean any schemes would be more sympathetic to the area than might be the case if a firm from outside the area was targeting the sites.
The proposals come swiftly after the adoption of South Lakeland’s Land Allocation Document - which earmarks land across the district for housing and employment sites. South Lakeland District Council wants to see a total of 5,200 houses built across the district, 35 per cent of which will be ‘affordable’.
The residents upset about the Kendal plans have, to some extent, lost the battle already as a Government inspector has approved the principle of allowing homes and business unit on the sites.
What is important now is that any firm applications aim to lessen the impact by addressing as robustly as possible such important issues as density, design and vehicle access.