PLANS to build a new car park, information centre and public toilet block in the Lake District have been put on hold.

Members of the development control committee for the Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA) deferred proposals from Mr J Heath to build a car park with 90 spaces on land adjacent to Eusemere Car Park in Pooley Bridge.

A decision on the proposed car park will be taken at a future meeting after committee members said they required more information.

This includes a re-consultation with the lead local flood authority as well as a ‘bottoming’ of the management plan around encouraging long-stay parking but also hours of operation and addressing the issue of overnight vehicle occupation.

The proposed car park extension would accommodate 72 standard car parking bays, six disabled bays and 12 designated electric vehicle charging bays.

Concerns were raised at the meeting by local resident Mr Brown over the potential smell from the toilet block and the impact of the proposals on flooding.

Mr Brown told the committee he contacted a company to carry out an independent flood report.

The flood investigation report from residents, conducted by Rubicon Project Consultancy Ltd, said: “The channel capacity has been overestimated and therefore the drainage volumes and associated flood risk to Eusemere Lodge of the proposed car park extension have been critically underestimated.”

In response, documents submitted on behalf of the applicant states the report appears to make a ‘number of false statements’ along with a ‘general misunderstanding’ of the drainage design. However, Rubicon responded saying the response ‘does not give answers’ to the points raised.

In the meeting, the applicant’s agent Mr D Ransley said: “Regarding the drainage strategy, that’s been developed by chartered engineers and the lead flooding authority have considered it suitable.

“We will provide a scheme that attenuates better to than the greenfield run off, so we reduce the risk of flooding and run off from the site”

Pooley Bridge is described as the gateway to Ullswater, providing extensive lakeside access, a terminal for Ullswater Steamers, numerous shops, eateries, water sports and boating facilities.

Committee member Richard Outhwaite said: “I regularly go to Pooley Bridge and walk with groups and in my opinion, there is a need for additional parking. I think it will cause harm but that harm is justified in part in satisfying that need and the benefit that brings.

“Where it’s more difficult is it seems we’ve got recent evidence of challenges to flood risk and that hasn’t been bottomed out. So I’m concerned that we rush into a decision to approve it without actually trying to bottom out whether that flood risk continues or is it something that’s not a justified concern.”

Planning documents submitted on behalf of the applicant say the current parking provision in the village is ‘not sufficient’.

A design and access statement says: “The applicant has been approached on numerous occasions by local residents and business owners alike, regarding the potential to create additional parking spaces on land in their ownership, to relieve these issues for visitors and locals, and this planning application is a response to their requests.”

“The current lack of long stay and short stay parking provision increases traffic movement through the village as visitors wait for a parking space to become available.

“Parking and waiting on pavements, double yellow lines and on verges is a regular occurrence and causes issues to traffic flows within the village”, it adds.

The proposed information centre will provide details of activities and attractions locally including details of sustainable modes of transport available and will include secure cycle parking and the provision of cycle hire including E bikes, encouraging the exploration of the area via active travel.

Planning documents say the electric vehicle charging bays will not be fast charging points to encourage long stay parking with an average 4-hour charge time.

According to a report prepared for the committee, at the time the report was produced, there were objection letters from 34 different people, a 222-signature petition of objection and 18 letters of support.

The petition stated: “As I’m sure most of you know, the hospitality venues can barely cope with the current influx of tourists during the summer season.

“Visitors to Pooley Bridge bridge contribute a lot to our livelihood’s and we appreciate this. However, the village is full to capacity during busy periods and these proposed plans would only encourage more people to come and join the never ending queues in our pubs and cafes.”

Recently an enforcement notice served on nearby Waterfoot Car Park was upheld by the Planning Inspectorate, requiring the car park to shut down within six months of the decision date May 20.