Estate plan could solve rural parking problem

Date: Friday 24th March 2017

A PROPOSED new car park could help to solve one of Keswick rural area’s most persistent problems, planners have been told. The scheme, produced by Lingholm Estate, is for a car park in Cupboard Field, Newlands, close to the foot of Catbells fell — one of the most popular walking spots in Lakeland.

The applicants say the proposed car park, with 65 spaces, will address traffic congestion and illegal parking as walkers abandon vehicles on nearby grass verges to begin their walk up Catbells, on the east side of Derwentwater.

The car park would be open between 8am and 9pm, May to September, and from dawn to dusk at other times. Overnight camping and camper vans would not be allowed to use it, motorists urged not to leave litter and Lingholm Estate staff would check the car park at least three times a day. Payment would be by way of a battery operated ticket machine, to be emptied daily.

In a statement to the Lake District National Park Authority, the applicants state alternative locations are either too far away from Catbells, in exposed locations on unsuitable sloping ground, or would lead to the destruction of a significant number of trees.

Details of screening proposals and surfacing with crushed local stone were provided and the estate representatives have told planners the application seeks to demonstrate that diversification by Lingholm Estate can provide a solution to the localised traffic congestion by making use of Cupboard Field “where the majority of visitors congregate to visit this Lake District attraction”.

At present, there is a “severe parking issue”, and congestion with evident damage to verges along the adjacent public road, states the application. “The development seeks to address this nuisance by providing off-road parking of sufficient capacity while incorporating sufficient screen planting to mitigate the impact on the landscape.”

The applicants also say that exceptional congestion is a constraint on the visitor experience and this can be addressed “while respecting the special landscape character of the Derwentwater Valley”. The final decision will be made by the national park authority planners.