Response from Mrs Wendy Welburn (Individual)
1. Mrs Wendy Welburn (Individual) : 10 Jul 2008 09:16:00
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 should like to make the following points about the LDF affecting the Grange area, particularly Cartmel where I am a resident. I love living in the area, but there are issues associated with living in a rural area which can only be exacerbated by the proposed increase in population, severely affecting the quality of life of current residents, unless adequate additional investment is channelled to develop our local infrastructure.
Public transport in this rural area is well recognised to be inadequate. The proposed increase in population will put further strain on this and current levels of transport are unlikely to enable this new population to travel to schools, place of employment, shopping etc. What plans are there to invest in and develop public transport in the area to ameliorate this problem?
Following on from the previous point, the lack of adequate public transport is likely to lead to a dramatic increase in everyday, domestic car use. Please do not underestimate the effects this would have on our community. Our rural roads are narrow, winding and often without pavements, thus a road safety issue will inevitably ensue, with accidents and deaths a likely outcome. Parking, also, in our villages is already problematic and causes obstruction, potentially to emergency vehicles; the increase in numbers of cars can only aggravate this. From an ecological point of view it also makes little sense to cause this increase in private motoring. Also, with the astronomical increase in fuel costs it seems unfair to condemn a whole new group of people to have to cope with this aspect of rural life.
Following on from my last point, given the increased flow of traffic arising from the proposed increase in population, what plans are there to invest in and develop the local road infrastructure?
As you may be aware, we do not currently have a filling station in our immediate area to supply existing motorists. Both of the nearest stations involve travelling several miles in the car, with the fuel fill followed by a potentially dangerous turn round to return home. Are there plans to build a more convenient and safe filling station, or are you proposing that the new population joins in, and aggravates, the current wasteful and risky activity?
Young People’s Facilities
Many of our local schools are at capacity. There are no A level education facilities available closer than Kendal or Ulverston. There is very little for children or young people to do to occupy or entertain themselves in the immediate environs. A large influx of more children and young people has obvious implications for each of these issues, particularly if some of these are re housed from more urban areas. What plans do you have for dealing with these? Recent similar re housing projects in Kendal have led to a rapid increase in vandalism, some of which is dangerous and even potentially life threatening, in quiet areas such as Burneside Road.
We do not have a rapid response police facility locally. With current, small population levels we do not generally need this. With an increased population, particularly with the potential problems raised in the above points, realistically this is likely to change. What plans are there to provide 24 hour police availability?
This is an area which gains a large part of its income from tourism. Visitors come to see our quaint towns and villages, with lovely old buildings, green spaces and quiet village life, particularly in Cartmel. Can you guarantee that the new development will not severely adversely affect the qualities that currently draw visitors here? Otherwise, be aware that you risk materially affecting the income, and the long-term viability, of the area.
Regeneration of Flookburgh and Ravenstown
On a more positive note, I believe that there is an opportunity to satisfy the need for more, affordable local housing by looking towards Flookburgh and Ravenstown for the major part of the development. The price of land is considerably lower than in other villages, making affordable housing easier to achieve and there is room for new support facilities to be built, such as a filling station, entertainment facilities, 6th Form college etc. There are some creative new businesses which have already added employment to the area and this could be supported and supplemented without detracting from the area. Additionally, the area has great potential if adequately invested in as regards additional tourism, though at present it presents as being a bit run down. This may sound like a diversionary tactic from a ‘nimby’, but I have thought that this potential existed for a long time and it could represent a chance to turn what might otherwise be a negative to a positive for the whole area.
Thank you for reading my comments.