The first day of a public engagement process for Penrith’s Strategic Masterplan saw over 100 people visit a pop up shop opened in the town centre to give residents a say on proposals that would lead to the creation of three new villages along with 7,000 new jobs.
The shop on Middlegate features large scale maps of the plans, information boards and a graffiti wall for people to air their views and questions.
District Councillors and officers including Council Leader Kevin Beaty, Eden Development Portfolio Holder John Owen and Chief Executive Rose Rouse were on hand to answer questions at the shop which will be open for at least another nine days during the consultation period.
Twenty-year-old Kyle Summers was one of the Penrith residents who stopped to find out more about the Masterplan and was pleased to hear about its emphasis on affordable housing, he said: “We definitely need more affordable housing because the cost of houses in Carlisle is about half that of Penrith and a lot of people are moving up there because of that.”
Penrith resident Ian Dawson said he had found the pop up useful – especially to see clearer versions of the maps, but had concerns about traffic congestions in the town.
Also dropping into the pop up shop was Kendal Calling promoter Andy Smith who was in Penrith for meetings about next year’s festival. He said: “My first impression is that this a good idea. So many young people move away from Cumbria and don’t come back until they retire. Affordable housing can help, but so can the arts and culture provision.”
Residents visiting the pop up shop were able to take away copies of the Penrith Strategic Masterplan – A Vision to 2050, a document that sets out the Council’s proposals for how the area can grow over the next 32 years – which is also available online. The consultation period runs to Friday 2 November 2018.
One element of the bold proposals contained in the Masterplan are measures to protect Penrith’s historic Beacon from developer creep and to improve public access to the views from its iconic pike, whilst allowing some mixed use low density development to the rear of Beacon Fell on commercial forestry land.
Eden District Council’s Eden Development Portfolio Holder, Councillor John Owen, MBE, said: “I was delighted to see so many people attending the pop up shop on Middlegate yesterday and taking a keen interest in how we shape Penrith for the future on the first day of the public engagement process.
“Obviously there has been a lot of attention on the plans to broaden access to the Beacon and we’re happy to take comments and answer questions on that, but it has been good to speak with residents about the broader themes contained in Masterplan such as affordable housing, better paid jobs, supporting the town centre and healthier living. We welcome every ones comments as the engagement process continues. ”
Proposals contained in the Masterplan for how Penrith might grow up to 2050 include:
- Three new villages to the north west of Penrith
- Supplying 73ha of new employment land
- A plan to attract better paid jobs to Penrith and Eden
- Ensuring the 5,560 new homes include affordable housing
- A mix of housing to provide family homes alongside smaller properties for people retiring or living alone
- A plan to safeguard the future of the Beacon and increase access to its summit
The Pop Up Shop will be open at the following time during September 2018:
- Wednesday 12 September 10am-4pm and 6pm-8pm
- Thursday 13 September 10am-3pm
- Saturday 15 September 10am-2pm
- Tuesday 18 September 10am-4pm
- Thursday 20 September 10am-4pm
- Monday 24 September 10am-4pm
- Wednesday 26 September 10am-4pm
- Friday 28 September 10am-4pm
If community groups, schools or colleges would like to pre-book a visit to the Pop Up Shop in September please contact Eden District Council’s Planning Policy Team on 01768 817817 or email: [email protected]
A series of public engagement events are also being planned across Eden District in September and October. The dates will be made available online at www.beaconvillages.co.uk via social media and in the local press. The ones scheduled so far include:
- Tuesday 18 September 10am-2pm at Penrith’s Farmers Market
- Thursday 4 October 2pm-6pm at Langwathby Station Café
- Friday 5 October 10am -4pm at Lazonby Co-op
- Tuesday 9 October 10.30am-12pm Great Salkeld Village Hall Café Crack
- Wednesday 17 October 2pm-4pm Newbiggin (Stainton) Community Café
To find out more go to www.beaconvillages.co.uk or search Facebook for Penrith2050 or follow #Penrith2050 on Twitter.