If Ann Wedgewood (Letters, January 31, 'Let them grow veg') cared to read the complaints raised by local residents and visitors to the Lake District National Park Authority about the retrospective planning application, she would discover that complaints were primarily concerned with the protection of the habitats of several resident and visiting species, including rare protected curlews, miner bees, pink footed geese, house martins, bats, owls and red squirrels etc that lived, foraged or visited the destroyed field area.

In supporting the planning application Ann Wedgewood is, in effect, advocating the destruction of the local ecology that had developed over many centuries.

The other main objections included the over expansion of domestic garden to five times its original size, the reduction of grazing in favour of domestic garden and the fact that the new beds could be fitted within the current garden areas without taking further grazing land. People also objected to the possibility of polytunnels and other structures affecting the amenity of the area.

While vistas are mentioned in some complaints, maintenance of views are not necessarily a planning consideration.

However, the land concerned is protected by legal covenants preventing any development that changes the land use from grazing. So even if planning is granted the beds would still have to be removed.

The views from the lane have also been detrimentally affected by the raised beds and gravel installed.

The new residents, who have retired to the area after recently buying the property and installing the beds, were unaware of the rare wildlife habitats or the requirement for a planning application when extending their garden.

It is hoped that an agreement has now been amicably reached to allow the area to be restored. Meanwhile, the vegetable plots will be relocated to a less sensitive area with the help of the LDNPA planning officer and the applicants.

Alastair Kirk

Knipe Fold