Residents are being invited to public meetings tomorrow (Wednesday, September 6) where they can learn more about plans to close an area of common land at New Road at Kendal to vehicles on safety grounds.

Members of South Lakeland District Council’s (SLDC’s) Cabinet took the decision last week after considering an officer’s report that said the layout of the site and its relationship to the adjacent road had the potential to lead to accidents and personal injury for members of the public, both within the area and on the road, with particular concerns raised about the access to and from the site from the road.


The decisions to close the land to vehicles and the vision for landscaping have been ‘called in’, which means they will be referred for further consideration by the council’s overview and scrutiny committee.

Meetings will be held tomorrow where residents can hear more about the reasons for Cabinet’s decision, the proposals to mitigate the impacts of the closure and proposals to develop the common land at New Road as a riverside park.

The public meetings will be held at Kendal Town Hall.

Presentations, followed by question and answers, will be led by council leader Councillor Giles Archibald, economy portfolio holder Councillor Graham Vincent, deputy Leader Councillor Jonathan Brook and SLDC chief executive Lawrence Conway at 2pm and 7pm.

The council has said that anyone unable to come along to the presentations at these times will still be able to call in to the town hall anytime between 2pm and 9pm to pick up an information pack, including copies of the safety report, speak to councillors and officers and look at information displays.

Anyone who can’t attend the meetings can also contact Councillor Archibald by email to ask questions or arrange a separate meeting:

SLDC’s Cabinet has already agreed a package of measures to try to address concerns over the effect the closing of New Road to vehicles could have on parking demand in the town, including cheaper all-day parking in the Westmorland Shopping Centre car park.

Cabinet has also asked officers at the council to investigate further packages of parking measures and offers to take account of the potential impact on part-time and shift workers, town centre residents, church-goers and market traders after considering feedback from the public.

Tomorrow’s meetings will update on the progress of these investigations, with options being considered including extending the opening hours of Westmorland Shopping Centre car park earlier and later and to include Sunday hours, consideration of an all-day Sunday parking fee within the shopping centre car park and possibly on a nominated surface car park, extending the ‘early bird’ offer to a nominated surface car park, provision for parking of vans associated with the market and how the parking permit system may be modified to address the needs of town centre residents.

Councillor Archibald commented: “I would urge anyone who has concerns or questions about the decisions and proposals related to the land at New Road to come along to tomorrow’s meetings.

“These meetings are your opportunity to hear our reasons for taking this action and to learn more about the work that is being done to address the impacts.

“To assist, the council has also produced a comprehensive response to many of the most frequently asked questions, which is available on our website at’’