The Penrith Strategic Masterplan covering Penrith and land to the east of the town proposes three new villages, 5,560 houses, new jobs, town centre improvements and upgrades to local road infrastructure.
Following the conclusion of an eight week public engagement process, Eden District Council’s ‘Beacon Villages’ website, which provides information about the Masterplan, states that its intention will now be to prepare a report to go before Council Members in December 2018 which will include an overview of the engagement process and outline the next steps and timescales for taking forward a formal review of the Eden Local Plan next year.
Local residents in the Penrith area have expressed concerns to landscape charity, Friends of the Lake District about the proposals including whether this scale of development is needed and negative impacts on the local landscape and infrastructure.
In its own response to the consultation, Friends of the Lake District has focussed on similar concerns to those raised by residents and drawn attention to the cumulative impact of the proposals when viewed in conjunction with ‘garden village’ plans for 10,000 houses south of Carlisle and the emerging Eden Local Plan document, which itself proposes significant development.
Lorayne Wall, Planning Officer at Friends of the Lake District, said: “We have concerns about the limited extent to which the impact of the proposals on the landscape has been assessed, but we also have significant concerns about the process that has been used to promote and develop the Masterplan document.
“It is not clear for example how the ‘preferred option’ for the future of the area has been reached, what other options were considered and why they were excluded. Other concerns include that the current and proposed future status of the Masterplan is also unclear and no assessment has been made of the cumulative impacts of this scale of development taking place alongside other plans for significant development such as Carlisle’s ‘garden village’, A66 upgrades and development proposed in the Eden and other authorities’ Local Plans.
“We have been working closely with members of the local community and it’s great to see so many of them getting involved and ensuring that they get their say in the future of their town and the wider Eden valley. We’ll continue our work with them to ensure that our shared concerns are taken on board.”
To find out more about the Penrith Strategic Masterplan, visit http://beaconvillages.co.uk/