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Landscape charity says Local Plan focuses too heavily on development over the environment

Borrowdale (Credit Andrew Locking)

[T]here is still time for you to have your say on the Lake District Local Plan Review. The opportunity to comment on the Lake District Local Plan Review closes on 29th June which is this Friday.

The Plan will shape the National Park for the next 15 years, setting out how a planning authority, in this case the Lake District National Park, behaves.

Landscape charity Friends of the Lake District has expressed serious concern over elements of the Local Plan Review document and is encouraging people to get involved in the consultation.

Friends of the Lake District has listed a number of concerns with the Plan as it reads now.

Douglas Chalmers, Chief Executive of Friends of the Lake District, said: “The Lake District National Park Authority’s Local Plan Review seriously underestimates the needs of local people and of the environment and landscape of the Lake District in its drive to pack yet more visitors into the National Park.

“We believe that the needs of Lake District residents are being undervalued. The Plan focuses on the visitor economy and bringing an even greater number of tourists to the Lake District.

“Of course the tourism industry is vital to Cumbria, supporting tens of thousands of jobs, but we already have 19+ million visitors and the number has been increasing year on year. We cannot assume that we can simply keep on packing more and more people in without damaging the very landscape that draws people here, our wildlife and the quality of life of those who live and work here.

“Some of the development ideas proposed for the Showcase Areas of Keswick, Borrowdale, Ullswater and Glenridding, Penrith, Windermere and Bowness, Grasmere, Ambleside, Kendal, Hawkshead, and Coniston are wildly inappropriate and would have major damaging impacts on the landscape.

“The Plan also suggests that the sustainable transport solutions we so desperately need will come from tourist-related developments, but we cannot agree with this claim.  Indeed, they may actually increase the problem and not address the real needs of local communities.

“We welcome the proposed housing policy, but with a quarter of all Lake District houses not permanently occupied, we would like to see more being done to address second home ownership numbers.

We also believe that the Plan depends too heavily on greenfield sites for housing and business developments, which has damaging implications for the Lake District’s landscape.“

You can find out more about our concerns and how to respond here: https://www.friendsofthelakedistrict.org.uk/news/local-plan-review

The consultation closes Friday 29th June 2018.

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