Thursday, 03 September 2015

New South Lakes housing would be backed by head

THE future of a village school could be strengthened by proposals to build 52 new homes.

South Lakeland District Council’s local development framework outlines plans to build 6,000 homes across the district.

In Kirkby SLDC has said 41 homes could be built on land next to Burlington School while a further 11 homes could be built at Four Lane Ends.

No homes will be built by the council but should developers come forward, the sites would be seen as a favoured location for new homes.

Jan Bath, headteacher at Burlington School, said any potential development could help safeguard the school’s future.

Mrs Bath, who will retire from the school in August after a decade in charge, said: “Numbers at the school are steady but children are the future of the village. There are 61 pupils here at present.

“I would welcome new homes in the village and that’s what the school needs. Young families do find it difficult finding homes in the village.”

The initial proposals to build up to 90 homes in the village sparked controversy. The series of heated public meetings resulted in the formation of the Kirkby Housing Action Group.

The disgruntled residents argued it was unfair for SLDC to suggest a disproportionate number of homes be built in the village.

Ken Wilkinson, secretary of Kirkby Housing Action Group, said: “The village does not need that number of houses – there are a number of houses for sale. I don’t like the idea of houses being built next to the school because that would be using valuable farming land. There’s all sorts of poor land they could build on.

“This is better than the 90 proposed homes but it still doesn’t go far enough. It’s better than it could have been but I’m still disappointed.”

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