'HARDLY anyone lives local now.' 

Those are the words of Jean Birkett, from Langdale, who spoke to this publication ahead of the decision on Elterwater Quarry, which will be made by members of the development control committee for Lake District National Park Authority today (Wednesday May 1).

Mrs Birkett, whose family have lived in the area for over 300 years, is one of many voices that have raised objections to the plans. 

She said that hundreds of properties in the valley are now being used as second homes. 

The proposal is for a zip line attraction to be built in Elterwater Quarry. The developer, Burlington Stone and Zip World, resubmitted the application to the park authority after amending the travel plan, which was raised as an issue when the original proposal was refused in September last year. 

The Westmorland Gazette: Members of the Friends of the Lake District charity with Bill Birkett second from rightMembers of the Friends of the Lake District charity with Bill Birkett second from right (Image: Jonny Gios)

READ MORE: 100 rally against Lake District visitor attraction plans

Plans include platforms that will be installed in the caves at points of interest, and visitors will travel from one platform to another via zipline. 

Mrs Birkett said: "We have already got two campsites, a caravan park and two youth hostels. We have over 300 second homes. The roads are so narrow. They are just trying to make money - hardly anybody lives local now. All the houses are second homes. 

"We don't need it. They just don't care because they don't live here."

Mrs Birkett said that many of the remaining locals agree with Friends of the Lake District and their campaign to see the proposal rejected. 

The campaign group staged a protest against the Elterwater Quarry Experience on Wednesday, March 27, with around one hundred protestors in attendance.

Bill Birkett, who also grew up in Langdale and whose father was a slate quarryman, spoke at the event. He said: "This development doesn’t do anything for the local community and is totally inappropriate.

"It demeans the history of this area and the quarrymen who worked there. I’m a local and the associated traffic is also a huge problem."

Planner Catherine Campbell, who prepared the document for the members of committee to refer to when making the decision, wrote an assessment of the resubmitted application, which includes a shuttle bus from Windermere train station, a revised visitor management plan, and an automatic number-plate recognition barrier on the access track. 

She wrote: "I have confidence that the objectives and proposals within the Travel Plan Commitment statement are robust and achievable and offer as much as an individual developer could reasonably achieve.

"In my opinion the proposal includes measures which would promote and increase travel to the site using more sustainable modes of transport which can be secured and delivered."