Response from Dr Richard Johnson (Individual)
1. Dr Richard Johnson (Individual) : 30 May 2008 16:54:00
To which part of the Report does your representation relate?
Paragraph or Section
4.92 - 4.97 PO17 - Remaining Local Service Centres West 2025 - Introduction
Please state as clearly as you can the exact part of the Report you are commenting on by quoting the page number (if known), paragraph number, option name or number, or the number of the map, figure or table.
As well as the above I wish to comment on page 192 Option 1 paragraph 7 and page 198 Table 9 All of which relate to the proposed development in Great and Little Urswick
Do you support, oppose or have an observation about this part of the Report?
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.
I write as a resident of Urswick for 30 years having raised a family there and worked in neighbouring Dalton-in-Furness for the same period.
Whilst my particular objection relates to the sections of the document relating to Great and Little Urswick, I have read the whole document and find that in many areas it fails on tests of soundness particularly the sustainability appraisal, it lacks coherence in many areas and takes no noticeable account of neighbouring plans or potential plans. In addition the document is written in language, which is incomprehensible to the average reader. It also lacks rigour in terms of its descriptions and summaries of evidence, and hence lends itself to alternative interpretations in the future.
My objections specifically are as follows:-
On Page 190 paragraph 4.94 you claim that Great Urswick and Little Urswick form part of the same settlement. This is not and has never been the case. The two villages are distinct in character and culturally and Little Urswick is not close at all to Urswick Tarn. You also demonstrate the lack of rigour I mentioned above in that you mention several pubs and restaurants in the centre of the village. In fact there are exactly two pubs and one restaurant all of them in Great Urswick.
On page 192, Option1, item 7 where you specifically mention development occurring you suggest that the field adjacent to Kirk Flatt is of lower landscape quality than the surrounding area you fail to look at more than one view and I suggest that viewed from Hooks Lane the view across the field to the church are of high quality. To put further housing and possibly industrial units here would hardly enhance that view and would certainly downgrade the view from Kirk Flatt as you acknowledge in table 9.
You also refer to housing in this area connecting the school to the village. It is pertinent to point out that when the new school, known as Low Furness C of E Primary School, was built it was an amalgamation of 3 village schools and was not intended to have any particular connection to the village of Great Urswick.
Development in this area would take up part of an already designated green gap and thus contradicts the Statement in PO7 page 101 item 8 where the core strategy is to retain green gaps to prevent eventual coalescence of settlements.
I turn now to page 198 Tale 9 relating to South West Great Urswick. In the column headed suitability I would like to comment on the 3rd and 4th bullet points.
The suggestion that there is potentially good access from Church Road ignores the fact that roads leading up to that point from outside the villages contain bottlenecks and are of a narrow rural nature unsuitable for increased traffic and particularly the possible heavy vehicles which may be associated with industrial units. There are few footpaths in either village and increased traffic would increase the danger for cyclists and pedestrians thus being at odds with the aspiration to increase walking and cycling and provide a safer travel environment espoused in the document.
Further research might also have revealed the huge volume of traffic on this road near the school at key times of day and increase to this would increase the hazhard to parents and children at the school.
You also acknowledge the “minimal local amenities and services” and the “somewhat isolated” nature of the area “but close proximity to Ulverston enables commute to larger settlements”. Again the implications of this are contrary to the core strategy aspiration to minimise the effects of climate change.
There are many other points which do not pass the tests of soundness.
What change(s) would you suggest for this part of the Report?
That Great and Little Urswick be reclassified as Rural Settlements
Please indicate if you wish to be notified when the Core Strategy has been:
Adopted by the District Council
Submitted to the Secretary of State for independent examination