THESE are the alternative plans to the redevelopment of Waterhead that have been offered as a compromise by a former civil engineer and local business owner.

The plans were designed and commissioned by Brian Winter, who owns a newsagents on the Waterhead shoreline and one is one of several business owners who say they would be adversely affected by the current designs proposed by the South Lakes Development Trust.

Brian Winter, who runs newsagents on the shoreline of Waterhead is no stranger to designing successful public spaces.

Mr Winter is a former civil engineer who designed Windermere Park along with several others throughout Manchester.

The plans are a feasible replacement to the SLDT plan and are due to be unveiled at a public meeting in the presence of SLDT chiefs next week.

Mr Winter said one reason the SLDT’s plans were floored was because they were labouring under the misapprehension that most people visiting Ambleside were travelling in from other parts of Windermere by boat.

He said the steady amount of passing trade that the existing shops at Waterhead draw far exceeds the swell in numbers when a lakes cruiser lands at the jetty, and the decision to remove the passing road and provide long-term parking was a bad idea.

“There is an illusion that people come by boat. No-one comes by boat to buy pet food, pictures of their pet hound, provisions for walks or clothing.

Because of this, Mr Winter has proposed that the current free car parking in front of the shops at Waterhead be made short stay, so drivers don’t hog spaces all day while leaving the area for other parts of the Lakes. “Good short term parking must be provided or 50 per cent of shopping trade will be lost. The boats are important but more than half the visitors are passing motorists, cyclists and walkers and they must be considered,” said Mr Winter.

He also said the plan fitted with the general consensus in Waterhead that indicates people believe the area needs sprucing up, but not to the tune of £6 million.

“We believe that spending so much money so that six shops and flats must be built is bad planning. This is an unnecessary urbanisation of a very special country spot. The important thing that needs saying is that with these plans, you won’t pay more tan 1 ½ million,” he said.

Mr Winter’s plan keeps the existing road layout, introduces a picnic and seating area between the road and car park and converts current parking area in front of the pet shop into 18 short stay spaces, with provisions for an overspill facility for neighbouring Bed and Breakfasts.

The plan proposes to extend the area at the front of the existing café, introducing a two tier paving area with flowerbeds and seating between. Unlike the SLDT proposal, Mr Winter proposes to retain the beach area, adding pebbles to increase the amount of people who would be able to paddle and swim.