A CONSERVATION charity has welcomed the 'dramatically scaled back' plans for a visitor attraction at Elterwater Quarry.

Friends of the Lake District (FLD), who opposed the initial outline proposal released by Holker Group in June 2022, have nevertheless called for the applicants to clarify a number of 'significant concerns' that the group has regarding the application.

Lorayne Wall, FLD Planning Officer, said that while the group has raised genuine concerns after careful inspection of the documents, the hundreds of objections already officially lodged with the Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA), are potentially problematic.

"The vast majority of new objections seem to be based on the old plans," she said.

"Most refer to some kind of 'theme park', when there is no mention of rides in this application.

"To call the initial proposal that was a bit of a stretch anyway, but this type of objection risks undermining any genuine concerns that are raised.

"A major concern that we have is around vehicle and traffic numbers.

"Using Brockhole as a 'transport hub' is fraught with difficulties – it's unclear what that actually means.

READ MORE: Proposal submitted for quarry attraction which drew thousands of objections

"There isn’t really any scope for improving the roads around Elterwater.

Lorayne said that clarity was required over what approval would mean for potential future development.

She said: "If permission was granted, what would they be allowed to do without needing further planning permission? 

"We would possibly ask for conditions added, to limit what could happen without further applications.

"There doesn’t appear to be a landscape and visual assessment, and as a landscape charity that is an obvious concern to us.

"If we have to have these attractions, they have to start contributing to sustainable transport for the region.

"We need to create more innovative methods of transport, or we're never going to find a solution. 

South Lakeland District Councillor for Ambleside and Grasmere, Malcolm Lamb, echoes many of FLD's concerns.

He said: "Tourism is fundamental to the prosperity of the Lake District but it has to be sustainable.

"Creating new tourist destinations is all well and good but even tourists will say that the Lake District is blighted by traffic.

"It is fanciful to pretend that visitors to Elterwater quarry will get there by any other means than by private transport, worsening an already bad situation."