Business park “the future of Penrith”

Date: Friday 16th February 2018

A NEW out-of-town business park near Stoneybeck roundabout would kick-start the future of Penrith, Eden Council planners were told on Thursday.

Penrith Farmers’ and Kidd’s (PFK) was granted outline planning permission for business offices, general industrial and storage or distribution facilities — with associated access, car parking, landscaping and ecological enhancement measures — on land at the junction of the A6 and B5035.

Eden Council planning officer Nick Atkinson said the proposal would result in the creation of a small business park and employment site. However, it would now need to be signed off by the Secretary of State as it was to be located outside a recognised settlement and therefore contrary to the district council’s development plan.

Rachel Lightfoot, head of planning at PFK, said there was a lack of employment land in Penrith and it was hoped the proposed park would stop businesses having to go to Carlisle. The 239sq ft of new space, for both existing and new business, would provide an exciting opportunity to “kick start the future of Penrith”, she said.

Stephen Lancaster, managing director of PFK, said there had been interest from businesses on Penrith’s Gilwilly industrial estate, which were looking to expand, and they had also been approached by a national firm that was looking at a new opportunity. “Too often, businesses see Eden as somewhere that they drive past on the way to Carlisle,” he said.

The new development would aim to change that with easy access off the M6 at Junction 41, the motorway’s quietest junction.

William Patterson (Ind, Warcop), who proposed the scheme be approved, said: “With all this housebuilding and the enlargement of the population there needs to be work for people in the area.

“What is very important to this site is how it uses Junction 41 to get there. It gives me heart to see this type of thing coming to the area.

Henry Sawrey-Cookson (Ind, Kirkby Thore) said the development’s two great advantages were its access to the M6 and a future A66 loop road around Penrith which had been mooted.

“Very importantly, it keeps heavy traffic out of Penrith,” said Mr Sawrey-Cookson.

Deb Holden (Lib Dem, Penrith) said she hoped the business park would be of a high quality design to set a benchmark for that area.

David Wright, Eden’s planning services development manager, said that with Junction 40 of the M6 creating a “bottleneck at Kemplay Bank”, the new business park was the start of things that were going to happen in the future as part of the natural development of the town to the north.