Response from Ms Kim Russell (Individual)
1. Ms Kim Russell (Individual) : 8 Jul 2008 16:10:00
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.
I have recently acquired a copy of the ‘South Lakeland Local Development Framework – Core Strategy Preferred Options’ and would like to make the following observations on its contents.
It would appear, from perusing this document, that the proposed scale and direction of development, both employment and housing, are based on draft and incomplete assessments of housing need, suitability of potential sites and traffic management options.
It is repeatedly acknowledged throughout the document that Kendal suffers severe traffic congestion, yet assumes that this can be addressed and ameliorated once further work is carried out to ‘explore ways of dealing with congestion through Kendal and increasing the capacity of the road network’ (Para. 3.166). From my knowledge of the local area, reducing congestion and improving the flow of traffic through and within Kendal has been the challenge of the local authorities for many years, yet still without a satisfactory solution being found. It would appear that the proposals to substantially increase Kendal’s population (by approximately 25% increase over the next 25 years), in absence of a clear and implementable traffic management system, represents a serious flaw in the ‘Local Development Framework’.
With the above comments in mind, I wish to raise concerns regarding the suitability of land off Burneside Road (to the rear of Briery Meadows Estate) as a major development site for housing. Once again, I consider the ‘Local Development Framework’ process to be flawed in terms of internal consistency within the document, as well as the absence of solid evidence in the allocation of this site. This proposal is very site specific (thus contradicting para. 4.3), the allocation of land is based on a ‘draft’ and incomplete survey of suitable sites, and many of the comments regarding the suitability of the site appear to be weak and based on very tenuous assumptions.
With regard to accessibility, the site is remote from most key service facilities – supermarkets, hospital, leisure centre, secondary schools, main rail routes and motorway etc. – and requires a journey through or across the town to access these, thus contributing to unresolved congestion problems and contradicting the core strategy regarding ‘sustainability’ (PO9) and ‘accessibility and transport’ (PO8) (cf. Table 3, p133). Public transport links are particularly poor with only one bus per hour currently serving Burneside Road and passing this site.
Access to the existing development off Burneside Road (i.e. Briery Meadows Estate) has sub-standard visibility at its junction with Burneside Road, and any intensification of this junction would severely prejudice the safety of highway users. The existing estate road is narrow in places, and truncated by the children’s play area. If access for the development site is to be through the existing estate, it would impact severely on the residential amenity of this area, removing a popular and very necessary open amenity space and at least doubling traffic through the estate.
The protection of ‘Green Gaps’ remains paramount according to PO7 (Green Infrastructure) in preventing the coalescence and encroachment of Kendal’s urban area upon outlying settlements. However, it would appear that the removal of this proposed development site (obviously considered important enough to be included in the adopted Local Plan as a Green Gap), represents a blatant and unjustifiable erosion of the ‘Green Gap’ and a direct contradiction of para 8, PO7.
I trust that these comments will be taken into account in considering the final outcome of this development planning process.