Response from Mrs Kate Gaskin, Grange over Sands Civic Society
1. Mrs Kate Gaskin, Grange over Sands Civic Society : 4 Jul 2008 09:14:00
Please write your comment or explain your reasons for supporting or opposing this part of the Report. You may also wish to refer to the tests of soundess in the glossary of the Preferred Options document before making your comments.
2.16 Key Issues
For the period 2002 –2021 approx
The RSS in South Lakeland implies a population increase of perhaps 15-18,000 persons.
The Community Strategy assumes a population growth of only 3,100.
Why is there this difference?
Why is the issue of 2nd homes not being addressed?
Extremely low rates of unemployment also fail to create any convincing justification for such large allocation of land for employment purposes. The demand by self-employed businesses for premises to move onto is quoted but, what is the survival rate of such businesses and do they expand to provide good quality employment?
Higher paid jobs have been lost in the area e.g. Merlewood. Grange is a tourist area. Why change it? Training and education for current employment opportunities, aimed at small businesses, in the form of a training centre, in Grange, would improve employment prospects and increase diversity. This would need financial support for the trainee, the employee and the employer from local and national government.
3 Spatial Development Strategy
The Strategy has not demonstrated clearly how the LDF is linked to policy development in the adjacent planning areas. Why when Lindale is not included GFA are references being made to Lindale being a place of employment for Grange residents? Lindale is as close as the two villages of Allithwaite and Cartmel, which are identified as part of the “Grange Functional Area”.
PO3 Distribution of Development
What historic evidence is there to demonstrate the need for 800 houses or a population growth of over 30% in the next 20 years as projected by the allocation of 10% of new development to take place in the GFA of the LDF?
The local infrastructure will be unable to cope with this. Expansion would also need greater passing trade than the current B Road would provide. Which relevant bodies and agencies have been consulted about the scale of the development?
PO5 Sustainable Economy
Policy based on development of a strategic site with excellent road links will inevitably attract employees from a very wide area travelling mainly by car.
What is being envisaged to encourage employees to travel by public transport? There is no evidence of a co-ordinated transport policy being implemented.
Table 1, page 11 does not show the type and variety of employment that people are leaving SLDC for. If these jobs are in the public sector, e.g. education and hospitals these cannot be recreated in SLDC.
Allocation of 10 hectares of employment to be found in Grange is extremely large in relation to extent present land presently used for such purposes in the town.
PO6 Accessibility and Transport
Essential that major new development sites should be provided with high quality public transport links from a very early stage of development. Without this residents or workers will travel by car from the start and conversion of their journeys to public transport will be very difficult. Conditions should be imposed on developers to achieve a reduction in car dependency by
i) direct support to public transport links serving the site;
ii) lower level of provision of car parking plus a charging regime.
Such measures should also reduce the amount of land required for employment purposes.
PO13 Grange-over-Sands Functional Area
The main strategy for Grange is seriously flawed by a combination of factors. Principally, this relates to the expressed view, quoted in the heading – “Grange town centre already struggles to cope with traffic and service pressures”, yet a major expansion of the town is proposed.
PO 13 (1) Expansion:
As stated above, a very substantial amount of development is proposed to be allocated to Grange, but all of the proposed sites are located to the south and west of the town. Almost all of the traffic generated by this development, during and after construction, will therefore be drawn through the narrow Main Street and its extensions with no realistic prospect of relief because of local development and topography. Conflict (and potential hazard) between traffic and pedestrians is already severe at busy periods arising from a combination of narrow pavements and carriageway, limited crossing facilities and large numbers of pedestrians. Significantly higher traffic levels could well threaten the core economic activity of the town, namely tourism. Any substantial development in the Cartmel peninsula is potentially a threat to Grange in this way, including any major extensions to existing tourism-related sites. Access into the peninsula is very poor, limited mainly to the B5277/8 looping off the A590 to run through Grange, Allithwaite and Cark, the B6271 from Lindale and minor roads north of Cartmel.
Employment Issues: There has in recent years been substantial development in Lindale creating and providing local employment opportunities for the Grange area. How has this potential been explored? There is currently unused employment land north of the station including a former candle warehouse which could provide small business space if the local bus service hours of operation were extended and the site was carefully managed. Business traffic would also not be entering the main area of Grange, hence reducing traffic congestion.
PO 13 (3) Major Regeneration and Promenade:
Promenade and other improvements are vital to future success of town, but present access limitations place acute pressure in car parking accommodation in the town. Restoration of access over the railway at Berners coupled with the potential development of old open-air pool site will transfer much of this pressure to Berners car park. For this reason any new development on this site will need to protect a major part of its parking capacity.
PO 13 (5) Public Transport:
Bus and rail links for access to places outside Grange are located at the railway station at the far northern end of the town, remote from the bulk of the town’s residents, a feature common to all the proposed sites for development. Although a local bus service operates through the town and nearby villages, integration of services is poor or perceived as unreliable, hence levels of usage are probably much lower than should be ideally achieved. If development is to proceed as proposed, developers of major sites should be required to contribute to the improvement of local bus services with the aim of providing good quality integration between modes and services. Bus and rail links from Grange to Kendal, Ulverston, Barrow, Lancaster and places further afield are very good. Occupiers of “affordable homes” could be attracted as regular users of public transport if adequate services are provided from the commencement of development.
PO 13 (6) Retailing:
If development on the scale proposed in Grange is approved, additional retail floorspace, particularly for convenience goods, will be essential. The present small supermarkets lack both space for expansion and adequate convenient car parking. The Douglas Wheeler report does not indicate the need for another supermarket but the need for the current provision to be improved.
1. North West Grange:
Site is elevated above the town on the 100m contour and slopes eastwards; local bus route passes adjacent to site but present services are inadequate to discourage car use; flooding very unlikely but drainage cause problems with capacity elsewhere in town.
2. South West Grange:
Local bus route passes adjacent to site but present services are inadequate to discourage car use; close to Kents Bank railway station but present rail services there are good for commuters though poor during day; development specification should include provision of improved routes to station for pedestrians and cyclists.
5. West Grange:
Local bus route passes adjacent to site but present services are inadequate to discourage car use; site almost equidistant (c. 2 km) between Grange and Kents Bank railway stations (not near Cark as stated).
6. East Grange (between Thornfield Road and playing field):
Not evaluated in strategy. Very sensitive site with excellent views over Morecambe Bay with high value residential around it. Not appropriate for employment land due to the very narrow road access, single sided pavement in a built up area with no possibility of road widening or adding pavement in a location well used by pedestrians. Very appropriate for high quality and innovative residential development but will still be very contentious locally.