COMMON land in Kendal that has long been used for free parking is to be turned into public green space.

When a similar scheme for New Road was last mooted, it caused an outcry among motorists and residents about where they would be able to leave their cars.


South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) is planning to spend approximately £430,000 to transform the land alongside the River Kent into a community open space with pathways, seating, landscaping and tree planting.

Currently, around 180 vehicles park there during the day with 70 being kept overnight. From next month,drivers will have to find alternative arrangements.

Health and safety reports received by the Liberal Democrat-run council identified ‘grave and severe’ potential dangers with the current use of the land.

It raised concerns about how traffic exits and rejoins New Road and the risks to pedestrians and vehicles navigating their way across it.

Cllr Giles Archibald, leader of SLDC, said the council had been left with no choice but to end parking on the site.

Opponents have indicated that they plan to do their best to delay a decision over the landscaping when the plans are presented to cabinet for approval next Wednesday.

The area is due to be cleared ahead of Taylor's Funfair arriving on September 14. When they vacate the site, vehicles will no longer be allowed to park on the land. 

From then on, motorists who arrive in Kendal before 9am will be allowed to park at the Westmorland Shopping Centre all day for £1, while cars can be left in any SLDC car park free-of-charge between 6pm and 8am.

Long term, the council is assessing the feasibility of creating a new affordable parking space at Beezon Fields.

An arrangement has also been put in place for Taylor's Funfair to relocate to Gooseholme when they return to Kendal after next month. 

See today's copy of The Westmorland Gazette for more details and reaction to this story.