Response from Ms Sarah Wiseman, Grange Fell Action Group
1. Ms Sarah Wiseman, Grange Fell Action Group : 10 Jun 2008 15:43:00
A typed or handwritten document was submitted. This has been scanned and can be downloaded below:
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4.46 - 4.51 PO13 - Grange-Over-Sands Functional Area 2025 - You Told Us and Introduction
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would like to register my strong objections to the proposed site of a ‘Preferred Direction of Growth’ as detailed above.
The area of land ‘Off Grange Fell Road’, currently outside the Grange Town Plan, is wholly unsuitable for development of any kind for the following reasons;
1. The Proposed LDF for Grange says that tourism should be a major focus of development. This area is very popular with tourists, many of whom walk up from the town, to walk onto Hampsfell, which enjoys wonderful views over Morecambe Bay and the Lakeland Fells. Development all the way up to the foot of Hampsfell, as this plan would allow, would utterly spoil this natural, ancient approach in and out of the Town and up to the Fell.
2. Development in this location would severely affect the rain water run off for the whole of Grange. Grange has a high rain fall, particularly on the Fell. More Tarmac and building on the fields outlined for development would severely curtail the ‘soaking up’ function these fields currently perform, resulting in probable severe flooding for lower sections of the town. The complex Limestone geology of this area, with its spontaneous, part time springs that pop up during times of heavy rain would make urban development here dangerous for the lower town. We, who live on the Fell know very well that the current drainage system is barely adequate; the road and fields regularly send flood water cascading down the road. Last Summer one cloud burst created a raging torrent that swept off the sodden fields, up through the old well near the Grange Fell Post Office, and down Grange Fell Road only to destroy the road surface down the hill on Fell Drive, near the primary school, damaging cars and flooding homes. Since these summer storms are going to become more frequent due to Global warming, what would happen if the fields at the top of Grange Fell Road were built on, with the removal of their rain soaking properties?
3. The ‘Grange Over Sands Regeneration Survey’ published in November 2007, undertaken by Douglas Wheeler Associates, examined in considerable detail, and local consultation all the areas in which Grange could be developed. In Chapter 7 of this document they examine these sites in detail. None of the many proposed development sites included building on the top of Grange Fell Road. Many of their preferred sites are not mentioned in the LDF, including the ‘Old Candle Works’ on Lindale Road and many more. Amongst many findings, they repeatedly emphasise that any development should not ‘damage the sensitive setting and character of the town.’ Any development in site 1 would certainly do this.
4. Damage to a nationally important Limestone Pavement system. This proposed development site would abut directly onto an area of outstanding Limestone Pavement, which is a legally protected environment. It is very probable that the Limestone Pavement is very close to the surface in these fields, as it is in many parts of Grange.
5. Visual Beauty once lost is gone forever. This site, mistakenly, even derisively labelled in the proposal as ‘a level, green field site’, is a system of ancient rolling fields, some with very steep inclines, that form the skirt of one of the most beautiful areas of natural undamaged Limestone pavement in the country. This area is a haven for wildlife and is known as a habitat for rare reptiles. Building so close to this habitat, less than 50M in some places is bound to undermine this area both visually, and ecologically. This site has already been encroached upon on the other side of Grange Fell Road, so should not be totally destroyed just to meet an awkward government target.
6. Remoteness from the amenities of the town. Anyone living or working at the top of Grange Fell Road will rarely walk into the town, since it is a long way up a very steep road. This road already has a large amount of traffic, which is often reduced to single file due to on road parking. Additional building, particularly industrial, would considerably worsen this situation.
This proposal should be wholly rejected, since this part of Grange is not built on for very good reasons. It is not just a gap in the town’s boundary to be filled in with no thought or consequences.