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Monday, 24 November 2014

Housing development plan sparks concern in village

ANY new homes built in a South Lakes village must be affordable, it has been claimed.

South Lakeland District Council has proposed to expand development boundaries in Kirkby, which could see up to 80 new homes being built.

Kirkby Ireleth Parish Council held a public meeting on Wednesday to discuss what implications the Strategic Land Allocation Assessment, which is a district-wide plan looking at land suitable for housing development, would have for the area.

Michael Slinger, secretary of the area’s Affordable Homes Team, gave a presentation at the village hall to residents concerned about plans. Mr Slinger said he believed that new affordable homes had to be built in the area, but that the plans presented by SLDC did not meet the needs of the village.

He said young people were leaving because they couldn’t afford to live there, and added: “Saying that we do not want change is a bit like saying that we don’t want to get old.

“But we have a concern that people of this age group (in their 20s) can’t afford to buy homes in the area and that’s why we were set up. My personal concern is that (after the new plans are introduced) they’ll build five-bedroom monstrosities like they have at Swarthmoor.”

Mr Slinger said two of the three areas identified in the plan – a piece of land near the doctor’s surgery and land near the old tennis courts – were not best suited for development.

He proposed an alternative plan to use a large plot of land behind the village shop to build new houses on. Mr Slinger agreed that one of the plots identified in the plan, near the Burlington Inn pub, was suited for development.

His proposals were greeted with a mixed reaction, with residents raising concerns about sewage treatment and road access and suggesting that smaller sites be identified.

Residents also questioned whether there would be a need for so many houses to be built in the area. Kirkby Parish Council will now discuss Mr Slinger’s proposals, which could form the basis of its submission to the consultation.

SLDC’s Land Allocations Document covers 600 sites which could be approved for potential development in Kendal, Ulverston, Grange, Milnthorpe and Kirkby Lonsdale, as well as villages and hamlets.

The plan has proved particularly controversial in Ulverston and Grange during the consultation period, which ends on April 15. Grange Fell residents have already staged a demonstration against the plans.

l To see the plans or have your say on the consultation, go to http://tinyurl.com/26k5jkj.

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