SOUTH Lakeland District Council has prevented vehicle access to the side of New Road Common Land, at Kendal, on the legal grounds of 'safety' and access denied to lawful users for 'air and recreation'.

I also understand that 'pollution' of the land has also been mentioned.

Speed’s Plan of 1614 shows no road or buildings between the rear of the Stramongate properties and the river bank. However, it does show what might be tenterframes. Is this the original area of the common?

New Road is shown on Todd’s Map of 1787, but, for those properties opposite the river bank, it shows no extension of the curtilage beyond the structural walls of the buildings. Had the common shrunk to allow building these properties?

Now we have had not only parking on common land, but aprons of stone or concrete beyond the building line, and tarmacadam down the centre as the highway. There is not much 'air and recreation' to be had on a tyre depot forecourt or that of a chip shop.

Similarly, on 'safety' grounds, a stroll on the A65/A6 is not to be recommended, and the tarmac laid on the highway is just as 'polluting' as the tarmac on the casual parking area.

I suggest that all the hard surfaces on this common land be dug up, the Miller Bridge traffic be redirected along Kent Street as before the existence of New Road, and we can all bring our tenterframes back to the riverside.

The Riverside Common should be all or nothing, and only the Kendal councillors in SLDC should make the choice, not councillors representing constituents who have no rights to use this common.

Those who argue that forecourts on common land have existed for years, and that the use of the highway across common land has been uncontested, should then consider whether there has been sufficient time for previously unrestricted parking to become a legal entitlement by the commoners.

After 1974, the ownership of this particular local common ought, by rights, to have been transferred to Kendal Town Council. It is not a district property, it is a Kendal common. In the transfer of ownership by the 1974 Act, did it include commons, which I believe to be separate legal entities?

Roger Burgess