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Wednesday, 03 September 2014

Hundreds join campaign to stop housing project

CAMPAIGNING residents are petitioning against potential new houses being developed on land in their village.

By Natalie Chapples

Some 22 houses could be built on a field in Penny Bridge under South Lakeland District Council’s controversial Land Allocation Development Plan Document.

The land at Oak Vale behind St Mary the Virgin Church is earmarked as space which could be used for future housing, with 35 per cent of the homes being affordable.

But residents have huge concerns about various issues including traffic and access, drainage and sewage.

They are also concerned that so many houses would be located in one of the highest points in the village, which they believe would be invasive.

Worried householders plan to hand a petition of hundreds of signatures to South Lakeland district councillor, Janet Willis, who represents Mid Furness, at a community meeting tomorrow evening at Greenodd Village Hall.

In a new consultation, SLDC is asking the public to comment on the “soundness” of its plans, asking whether the document’s proposals are justified, effective and in line with strategic local and national policies. Comments can be submitted up until April 17.

The findings are to go before an independent planning inspector who will be examine the plans.

Susan Denison, of Hall Garth, which backs on to the land, said she hopes the inspector “throws the plan out”.

Mrs Denison, said: “We want to show we are a force to be reckoned with.

“We want them to sit up and take notice of the residents’ feelings and don’t want them to ride over the top of us.

“We are very strongly opposed to this. To have 22 houses above us would be invasive and there is a drainage and sewage issue for the land. There is not enough space.

“There are houses that are still for sale in the village.

“There are other brownfield sites.”

Alison Alger, of Penny Bridge said: “We have major issues with the drainage system so having 22 more houses will only compound the problem.”

But a mum, 43, of Penny Bridge, who did not want to be named, said: “If the houses are going to be affordable for young people or the elderly, then I’m for it.”

Cllr Willis said there are people for and against the plan, and said she has great sympathy with the people who are against it.

She said: “I voted for the Land Allocations Development Plan for South Lakeland overall because I do believe going forward if we want to attract new business and keep our young people in this area there has to be affordable housing. But there are sites in my ward which have issues.”

Cllr Willis is advising residents to submit individual responses to the new consultation.

Any sites which are taken on by developers have to go through the full planning process.

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