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Council approves Eden Local Plan 2014-2032

Eden District Council’s Members tonight (Thursday 11 October 2018) approved the Eden Local Plan 2014-2032, this is the local authority’s main planning policy document that will be used to determine planning applications in the District over the next 14 years.

Before the emergency meeting called by Eden District Council to adopt the Local Plan started last night (11th October) Adrian Hill the Spokesman for Keep Penrith Special tried to make a statement about what was going to happen and to make a protest.

Councillors angrily shouted him down and said it was ‘an abuse of democracy to make such a statement’ and threatened to call the police to have him removed.

At the end of the meeting Mr Hill asked members of the public if they wanted to hear the statement he had been prevented from making. They all wanted to.

Then the CEO of Eden District Council and the Monitoring Officer repeatedly attempted to disrupt Mr Hill and tried to insist that members of the public left the building. The public refused to do so saying ‘it’s our Town Hall’ and all stayed to listened to Mr Hill downstairs in the hall of the Town Hall.

The police then arrived presumably called by Eden District Council. The Police did not intervene and Mr Hill was then interviewed by BBC Radio Cumbria.

The Council has been working on its Local Plan, since early 2013 and first submitted it to the Planning Inspectorate for approval in December 2015. Since then it has been through several public hearings and it has gone through a series of modifications, most notably the Locational Strategy which outlines the hierarchy for development for each of the market towns and key hub as follows:

  • The Main Town being Penrith
  • Then the Market towns of Alston Moor, Appleby and Kirkby Stephen
  • Then 13 key hubs

The Local Plan allocates land to build up to 242 new houses per year in the District up until 2032. Penrith will be taking 50% of new housing growth (2,178 houses) as the most sustainable town in the District. Appleby takes 9% (392 houses), Kirkby Stephen 7% (305 houses) and Alston 3% (131 houses) which reflects the difficulty the town has in attracting new development.

The District now has 13 Key hubs to focus new development to, which can help sustain local services, where it is appropriate to the scale of the village and rural hinterland it serves. The key hubs are Armathwaite, Brough and Church Brough, Culgaith, Greystoke, High and Low Hesket, Kirkby Thore, Langwathby, Lazonby, Nenthead, Plumpton, Shap, Stainton and Tebay. 871 new homes are planned to be built in the key hubs over the Local Plan period 2014-2032.

There are 102 identified smaller villages and hamlets suitable for modest scale infill and rounding off serving local need together with the re-use of traditional buildings.

The remaining other rural areas within Eden providing for affordable housing and the re-use of traditional buildings under certain circumstances.

Two sites are also set aside for employment space: a 29.4-acre extension of the Gilwilly Industrial Estate, and eight acres of land in Skirsgill. The Council has also signalled its intention to support further development of Newton Rigg College in the Local Plan.

Near Appleby, there is 11 acres of land set aside for employment use across three sites. Elsewhere, at Kirkby Stephen, around eight acres of land at Kirkby Stephen Business Park is made available for employment use.

For housing developments of 11 or more units in Penrith, the Council will look to secure a 30% provision of affordable homes, with type and tenure negotiated on a site-by-site basis. In the remainder of Eden the same 30% of affordable housing will still be required in developments of 11 or more units. In smaller developments of between six and ten units the developer will be required to provide a financial contribution towards affordable housing for use in Eden. In rural areas not specified as ‘key hubs’ or ‘Smaller Villages and Hamlets’, the Local Plan states new housing will be restricted to affordable housing only within coherent groups of three or more dwellings.

Eden District Council’s Eden Development Portfolio Holder, Councillor John Owen MBE, said: “I am delighted that my fellow Councillors have now formally adopted the Eden Local Plan 2014-2032 as the principal document in the Council’s planning policy framework. This has been a protracted process involving a great deal of research and consultation, but I would like to praise the diligent work of both Members and officers in seeing this through to tonight’s positive conclusion.”

For more information about the Eden Local Plan 2014-2032 visit www.eden.gov.uk

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