BURNESIDE Parish Council is looking forward following the appointment of four new councillors at a 'positive meeting'.

At last month's council meeting, seven councillors resigned following a vote that saw the village's neighbourhood plan thrown out.

The resignations left just four councillors remaining, which is the exact number needed for a quorum.

However, December's council meeting saw William Huck, Anne Hutton, Brian Ridyard and Ian Walker co-opted.

"We are now up to eight places out of 11 so there's three more spaces still," said Kevin Price, clerk for the council. "One of them is a younger man and it's always good to get younger people. Often councils are dominated by older people because they have more time to devote to it."

He said the meeting was well attended by members of the public and went on 'very happily'.

"I think we are all encouraged," Mr Price said. "There's going to be a period of adjustment but I think they are keen."

Burneside's Neighbourhood Plan aimed to transform the village. It centred around the four key elements: development and infrastructure; traffic and transport; environment and design and facilities and services.

It was hoped the plan would help deliver sustainable, attractive housing, more business and boost tourism.

Mr Price explained that the plan could not yet be brought up again but there was 'interest' in progressing with it.

Burneside Parish councillor Nigel Byrom said that the meeting had been 'very positive'.

"We are moving forward properly as a totally different council and it's a breath of fresh air to be honest," he said.

Elsewhere in Burneside, District councillor Keith Hurst-Jones has stepped down from his post for 'personal reasons'.

South Lakeland District Council Leader Giles Archibald said: “We are very sorry to see Keith go. He has been an asset to the Lib Dem group and has always wanted the best for Burneside. We wish him well for the future.”

The Gazette attempted to contact Mr Hurst-Jones for comment but did not receive a response.

As the vacancy has occurred within six months of the next scheduled elections and Councillor Hurst-Jones was due to retire as a result of the abolition of all district wards as part of the further electoral review, there will not be a by-election.

The next meeting of Burneside Parish Council will be on February 6 at 7pm in St Oswald's Church Room, Burneside.