IT IS with rising levels of frustration that I write in an attempt to understand what role one of the key strategies ‘Achieving vibrant and sustainable settlements’ (CS02) has in the current Local Development Framework.

CS02 recognises rates of development in rural service centres like Bowness and Windermere should be different from villages, cluster communities and open country side. In fact, CS02 even assigns targets for these settlements, with villages in each distinctive area expected to absorb 20 per cent of development.

So far so good, nobody could argue with these statements, they appear transparent and fair to all involved. In fact, I have difficulty disagreeing with any of the strategic statements.

The reality is different however and recent experience in Crosthwaite would suggest this particular core strategy is being sacrificed to meet wider development targets.

Crosthwaite is designated as a village within the Central and South East Distinctive Area. Using the figures in the Local Development Framework as a guide, Crosthwaite might expect to take one new development a year as its share of development with other villages in this Distinctive Area.

The reality though is somewhat different; Crosthwaite has had a total of 37 additional dwellings approved over the last eight years, more that than four times higher than Crosthwaite might have expected if the strategic guidance had been followed. In fact, 29 were approved in the last two years.

It’s no wonder then that there were 48 individual objections and objections from our parish council and The Friends of the Lakes District when yet another application to build five three- and four-bedroom houses was put forward last year.

How does this rate of development in the village fit with the policy that ‘development should be of a scale and nature appropriate to the character and function of the location in which it is proposed contributing towards meeting the needs of the local community or bring benefit to the local community’?

I and many other residents in Crosthwaite are struggling to understand what role this strategic policy has in informing planning decisions. The planning for the additional five houses was approved on the March 6.

Alan Gerrard