MORE than 200 concerned residents of a South Lakeland village gathered to back the fight against a developer's wish to build on protected land.

Staveley's village hall was packed out with objectors to the Big Meadow being developed on.

Villagers were incensed that the protected site had passed through the first stage of the Lake District National Park Authority's (LDNPA) call for sites.


The Big Meadow has progressed to stage two in the process of the LDNPA looking for suitable locations for future development.

"It would be devastating for Staveley if it was built on," said John Radcliffe, chair of the Save the Meadow action group.

"We, as a group, have decided to employ some planning consultants, but they of course have to be paid for.

"The meeting was a fundraiser and we had the opportunity to see a presentation on what the planners thought was the best way to go about stopping development."

More than 285 sites were submitted during the call for sites, with the LDNPA looking at housing, retail, tourism and employment opportunities.

A spokesperson for the LDNPA said only sites which had been recommended for housing within certain criteria had been screened out at the opening stage.

"The site in Staveley is a mixed site, it was not screened out at stage one as we did not apply a filter to mixed use sites," said the spokesperson.

"We are currently undertaking detailed assessments as part of stage two where we assess the site against a number of criteria for example flooding, landscape impact, impact on the conservation area and transport. As the site is allocated as Local Green Space Amenity there will be additional criteria to satisfy if it is to progress through the site allocations process."