Penrith masterplan consultation extendedto eight weeks to ease public concerns

Date: Friday 25th May 2018

EDEN Council will extend a public consultation on its controversial Penrith masterplan to give people more time to comment, it was revealed this week.

It follows questions being raised in recent weeks whether the statutory six-week public consultation period was long enough to give people a chance to have their say on plans stretching into the year 2050.

Last week the council was urged not to “rush” the process and to seek input from university experts.

On Tuesday, Kevin Hutchinson, principal planning officer for the council, confirmed that the authority would extend the consultation period by a further two weeks to give people two months to comment.

Mr Hutchinson told the Herald that the process has the close attention of both councillors, via a cross-party working group, and officers. The council is awaiting confirmation of the public consultation dates.

Once the exercise has been completed, a final report containing all public feedback and any revisions to the plans is expected to go before full council for a vote, expected in September. The draft masterplan is being developed by Land Use Consultants, which provides the private and public sector with planning, impact assessment, landscape design and ecology services.

The company has offices in London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

The draft document is expected to go before the council’s executive on Tuesday, 5th June, before it is formally launched by council leader Kevin Beaty (Con, Skelton) at a business dinner at the North Lakes Hotel, Penrith, on 7th June. The plan will set out a range of council “ideas and aspirations” where new housing and employment sites might go. Mr Beaty has said the council is considering ideas for up to 10,000 new homes across new “villages” to the east of Penrith.

It would also pave the way for development of some sort on the landmark Beacon Hill and a new eastern bypass to divert A66 traffic away from the pinchpoints of the Kemplay and Skirsgill roundabouts.