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Monday, 22 December 2014

Survey shows residents’ fears about housing plans

FRUSTRATED residents have voted to use the results of an independent housing survey to show their concerns about housing plans for their village.

Kirkby Residents Action Group conducted the survey after frustration at Kirkby Ireleth Parish Council’s response to South Lakeland District Council’s Strategic Land Allocation Assessment.

In Kirkby, three sites – which could accommodate 77 new homes – have been identified by the council as being suitable for development.

Dozens of residents packed into a public meeting in Marshside Methodist Church on Wednesday.

The group received more than 140 completed surveys, which ranked the proposed sites in order of preference. The group voted to return the statistics to SLDC, along with an “executive summary” and an appendix of the complete report.

They will also report concerns about sewerage problems at one site close to the Burlington Inn, access to the A595 and a previous public enquiry dating back to 1991, which ruled the land could not be used as a building site.

Mary Wilkinson, group secretary, said: “Some of the key points that came out are that people do want houses to be built in Kirkby but people don’t want large-scale developments.

“We got a lot of responses, 25 people said there were 26 homes for sale in the village and there are 50 holiday homes.”

Patrick Arnold, group chairman, said: “The priority is purely trying to make sure the right people have the right housing at the right cost.”

The site with the most public support was land by the Burlington Inn. The field behind Burlington School was the second most popular site, while a field behind Moorland Stores was voted as the least desirable site.

Kirkby Ireleth Parish Council originally suggested houses to be spread across these three sites.

The survey also found residents favoured between 10 to 25 new homes to be spread across the village.

Councillor Michael McPherson defended the parish council’s procedure. He said: “To say ‘we did not know about this’, you only know about what you are interested in. The information has been in the public domain for a long time.”

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