Response from Mr Steve Webster (Individual)
1. Mr Steve Webster (Individual) : 3 Jun 2008 19:33:00
To which part of the Report does your representation relate?
Paragraph or Section
The Preferred Option - PO13 - Grange-over-Sands Functional Area 2025
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.
Core Strategy preferred options. PO13 Grange-over-Sands. Pages 153 / 154 Para.8 Pit Farm / Orchard Close Cartmel
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.
The proposal to develop this site for residential housing runs contrary to many environmental and aesthetic considerations including a disregard for biodiversity, the potential for flooding, an increased local carbon footprint, additional noise pollution, traffic congestion and the despoiling of picturesque countryside. Economically and socially the overall impact would be negative. The development would be an eye sore to those who walk the footpath from the village past Pit Farm and up Hampsfell, detracting considerably from the view back from the upper slopes. Wildlife, including ground nesting birds and wild flowers would be eliminated, displaced or at least marginalised, and road casualties of frogs, hedgehogs, badgers and other species that cross the Haggs road from Hesketh wood would inevitably increase in proportion to road usage. Pit Farm itself is sensibly situated just on the Red Hill Limestone of Carboniferous age which is permeable and keeps the building foundations dry. Just to the west (Cartmel) side of the farm the rock changes and the proposed site is unconformably underlain by impermeable rocks of the Bannisdale Formation, covered by glacial drift. This junction is marked by a spring line that can be traced north up the valley along the line of unconformity. The eastern and south eastern edge of the proposed site field is wet and very close to the water table. With the increased run-off from tar mac roads and additional house roofs, the risk of waterlogging at the eastern edge and polluting of the pond is considerable. Run off would also occur westwards as the middle of the field is undulating, with further pollution and potential flooding as it enters the Eea, the level of which is already alarmingly high during severe weather in winter. It is most unlikely that extra employment of any but the basic kind associated with tourism and catering will be available in Cartmel and therefore any residents of the new development would have to commute outside the area for work, so adding to congestion , noise, carbon pollution and accident hazard on the minor roads leading to the A590. Also so far as can be ascertained there has been no consideration of the impact on already overstretched local services of the influx of new residents. Finally there is a certain atmosphere retained in places like Cartmel: what in a sensitive piece of writing Jim Perrin calls "spirits of place". This atmosphere is what makes local people so passionate about the area and what hordes of visitors pay good money to sample, if only for a brief period. These "spirits" cannot co-exist with brash commercialism, housing quotas, master plans and all the other nonsense with which we fool ourselves into thinking we are improving our collective lot. A housing development on the scale proposed here would knock another nail into the coffin lid of our already depleted heritage, reduce the happiness of local people and sour the experience of visitors, with inevitable economic repercussions on the tourist trade.
What change(s) would you suggest for this part of the Report?
Scrap it completely.
Please use this space if you wish to set out a new option for consideration.
Those in most need in this area probably can't afford even what is euphamistically called "affordable housing". It is a major problem as the only real affordable housing for such groups vanished with the ill-conceived selling off of the Nation's stock of Council houses under Tory Governments in the '80s and '90s. I have no answer to this, but I fail to see why everyone should now have to suffer from this lame attempt to redress the balance. However, as regards effective demand (i.e. demand backed by the ability to pay) for housing in Cartmel, there are more than sufficient houses already, without the need to build extra. The answer is to get them released by the second home owners and property speculators who hold them in the same regard as they do National Savings Certificates, i.e. as safe investments. Only an aggressive policy of punitive taxation and restrictions on purchase and sale will achieve this, but the effect would be to restore house prices to sensible levels comparable to a national average. These are the sort of policies Councils, Planners and the like should be reporting to Central Government as being appropriate in some rural areas.
Please indicate if you wish to be notified when the Core Strategy has been:
Submitted to the Secretary of State for independent examination
Adopted by the District Council