The current draft of the Land Allocation plan proposes 151 new houses in Arnside and a further 66 in Sandside and Storth. That's 217 within the AONB. This will degrade this beautiful landscape, the Lib Dem controlled South Lakeland District Council need to re-balance the Land Allocations. by the

 

The village of Arnside is in an Area of Oustanding Natural Beauty (AONB). This is a national designation which recognises that the area has a landscape so special that it needs protection at the same level as a National Park.

The local council - South Lakeland District Council (SLDC), controlled by the Liberal Democrats is proposing to allow property developers to build on open green spaces in the village. There is a need for affordable housing in the village, however to get these houses built the council does a deal with developers - 35% of a development must be affordable. This means that for every affordable house built nearly twice as many others are sold on the open market by the developers. In most locations this is not a bad solution, however in Arnside the "open market" housing is nearly all bought by people over 50, generally retiring to the village. This has the effect of skewing the population towards the elderly. This in turn waters down the community, for every young family that move in, two retired housholds move into the village. This DOES NOT contribute towards a Sustainable Community.

The council attitude seems to be "houses need to be built somewhere". And we agree, build houses for local need on available brown field sites in the village. However geographically Arnside is out-on-a-limb, so moving more people to the village just creates pollution, conjestion, and contributes to climate change. The Land Allocations Plan needs to be re-balanced in favour of protecting a nationally important environment and mitgating against climate change. Building additional houses nearer to the major roads and facilities mitigates against climate change and conserves the AONB landscape.

The Facts

AONBs are created under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act of 1949, the Countryside and Rights of Way Act, 2000 (the "CRoW" Act) added further regulation and protection, ensuring the future of AONBs as important national resources. The council, SLDC, is required by these laws to have due regard for the AONB status.

The Liberal Democrat manifesto 2010 has a section on "The Green and Pleasant Land" see pages 81 and 82 and some of this has made it through to the coalition agreement. Section 4, page 11 talks of "protect green areas of particular importance to local communities" and Section 11 page 17 says [we will] "promote green spaces"

This Policy extract document 'Important Open Space' from SLDC lists sites, such as 'Land to North of Dobbs Hall, Arnside (The Common)' in the AONB which will not be built on. In October 2010 SLDC stated that this policy continues to be part of the development plan.

But this map has several sites in Arnside inclucing site R81 (this is, as far as we can tell, 'Land to North of Dobbs Hall' - do try to keep up) listed as emerging options for house building ( map key). In October 2010 SLDC protected this land and in mid 2011 they have marked it for housing!!!

This Update note lists 'saved' policies including S4 - the Important Open Spaces policy. These are policies which are not replaced by the Core Strategy and therefore continue to form part of the Development Plan..

The Arnside fact file is here.

The SLDC Local Plan is here.