ANGRY Grange-over-Sands and Allithwaite residents held up placards and chanted their disgust at plans to build more housing in the towns.

Cars beeped their approval to the protesters as they drove by Victoria Hall on Main Street, where dozens of people were gathered.

Banners read: “SLDC don’t listen to locals,” and “We need open spaces too.”

They were opposing aspects of South Lakeland District Council’s land allocations document, which identifies where hundreds of houses could be developed over the next 15 years.

Their fears were over the increased flood risk of new houses, more traffic in towns which they say are already struggling to cope, and the effect more housing could have on tourism, among other concerns.

One set of residents protesting were the Grange Fell Action Group, who were chanting ‘Hands off Grange Fell’ during the rally.

The group opposes an SLDC potential site to build up to 36 houses on Spring Bank, which consists of two farms behind the Grange Fell Bed and Breakfast on Grange Fell Road.

“It’s about our quality of life because if we don’t fight for it then building will be allowed here,” said Sarah Wiseman, one of the organisers of the group.

“We don’t have a lot of land in Grange but at least here we’ve got some fields behind our houses. And now SLDC want to build on them.

“We’re not opposed to development, but we think that these particular sites have not been thought out well.”

John Barber, who has lived in Grange for 70 years, said: “Grange is changing too much at the moment. I don’t understand this need for houses when some of them have stood empty or on sale for quite some time.”

The Allithwaite Steering Group also voiced their opinion to SLDC outside Victoria Hall, which was packed with concerned residents viewing the plans all day.

Around 80 homes have been allocated on two sites to the north of the town.

Kath Pearson, a member of the group who has lived in Allithwaite for 11 years, said: "We just want SLDC to listen to us because we’re not against development, especially affordable homes.

“But we are against the two very big sites to the north of the village, and if each household had two cars then that would create an extra 160 vehicles, which would cause too much traffic.”

She added that she would prefer smaller sites scattered across the town, so the traffic would in turn be spread out.

Dan Hudson, SLDC development strategy group manager, said the council would listen to all responses, and that no decisions had been made yet.

“We recognise that people have very real concerns and we are here to listen," he said.

“But we do have a real need for new homes that we have to meet and that will involve some difficult and uncomfortable decisions for some people.”

Consultation on the document takes place until Friday, April 15. To view it, go to the website below.