Response from Mr Aidan Smith, Cumbria Association of Local Councils
1. Mr Aidan Smith, Cumbria Association of Local Councils : 4 Jan 2006 16:13:00
1. Do the vision and the priority themes set out in Section 3 provide a sound basis for the vision and strategic objectives to be contained in the Local Development Framework? Are additional land use/spatial elements required for the LDF?
The vision is well stated.
The themes form a sound analysis of the task ahead.
They do not take into account they backlog of work which needs to be done to bring the District up to standard. There is an air of neglect throughout the area - some County responsibility - much District.
2. Do you consider that the nine principles for development identified in Section 4 will contribute towards sustainable forms of development? What further principles for development are required in the LDF?
Each theme will require dedicated officers and Members to mark out the paths and to follow through the developments monitoring relevant activites, proclaiming successess and highlighting (with the intention of correcting) any deficiencies or barriers to progress.
3. Do you think the list in Section 5 contains the main spatial planning issues in the area? Are further issues prevalent that need to be addressed in the LDF?
...highest value employment opportunities...
This section talks in general terms. what economic development is stunted for a lack of space? Having lost a key employer in Merelwood and a decline in Glaxo and remembering the employment gloom in Kendal - service industries and tourism are (potentially) growth areas. Sellafield appears to be the only industrial development in Cumbria.
4. Which of the options identified in the three diagrams in Section 6 offers the most sustainable pattern for development? What other options should be considered?
Exploit the present transport network and enhance it.
Appreciate the rail links and proximity to A590 and Junction 36. Hoteled communities will remain so and establishing an industry in such an area increases the travel difficulties for the employees.
5. Do you consider there to be merit in identifying a particular development emphasis for each Service Centre as suggested in Section 7? What should this emphasis be?
Critical Mass variety of employment opportunities - range of facilities. The economy shoudl be the first consideration. Employment of immediate work force. Attract other workers - labour gravitates to employment. Then look to 'affordable housing' for key workers. Regeneration should be the theme - enhance what exists - attempt to remedy the neglect of recent years.
6. Should particular areas be identified in the Spatial Strategy that are less suitable for development? Which areas should be defined?
Holated developments bring their own problems. They may increase extra traffic on country roads/lanes incurring extra highway costs. The service of the sites may be in excess of the Revenue gained by the Councils. Transport of individuals can be difficult if an isolation aspect is considered. Any settlement following with young families could be disadvantaged.
7. What do you consider to be the important socio/economic linkages between communities inside and outside the LDF area? What measures should taken to strengthen these linkages?
A590 can be improved but not replaced. The rail links are transport controlled by the geogrpahy of the area and can be enhanced. Planning Policies of the past 50 years have encouraged a spread of populations, without an increase in numbers. this was based on 'cheap' transport both private and public. the unsustainable bus service in Kendal highlights the difficulty where the density of users is lower than the demand it would need to meet the cost of the standard requried.
8. Which of the above major projects outlined in Section 9 do you consider will provide an important means on implementing sustainable development in the District and should be supported in the LDF? Are there other major projects that should be delivered?
Grange has the potential to be revived if care is taken to advance the town plan. It has assets which are appreciated by visitors and new residents alike.
It has a tired look, but there is much of the former spirit to be found in the business community.
9. Are there further issues that should be addressed in the LDF Core Strategy? Please outline your general comments.
Project 5. Canal Head and Environs. Without waiting for the Canal to be operating. This is the principal area to gain.
2. Ulverston. Great potential to add to the Town's character. Any development needs to be above flood level. Cannot be expected to compensate for the job losses of Glaxo.
3. Gateway. Precious black hole for funds which would be spent to greater effect in Grange, Kendal and Ulverston. The vision is great but it essentially cherry picks from established centres and would not draw people into other areas.
6. Kendal Releif Road. The effect on Kendal would be of great benefit (The alarm of those close to the route can be appreciated). It will revive the town by easing congestion. Regret that it cannot be started in 2006.
7. Park and Ride. Demand and provision will never match.
8. Railway. A 'must keep' asset. Expensive re usage!
9. The County Council's attitude is unrealistic. Improvements are needed and modifications have improved the flow of traffic.