Beacon will have lots of friends
THE Beacon is such an integral part of Penrith that it is little wonder hundreds of people have already voiced their support for a campaign aimed at safeguarding it from future development.
The prospect of some of the forest being used for low density housing, as well as a leisure or tourism complex, is aired in Eden Council’s draft masterplan for the development of the town over the next few decades.
Even though the Beacon is in the hands of a private owner, Penrithians have been given access to parts of it for generations and the pike, before a view of it was obscured by trees, has been a landmark to welcome them home from their travels.
Friends of the Beacon has been formed to impress on the council just how passionate the people of Penrith are about a feature which has been part of life in the town for hundreds of years, whether they have used it for leisure purposes themselves or simply enjoyed the view of the forested area which dominates the skyline.
There has not yet been any formal consultation on the masterplan, which has had a number of draft forms since it was first mooted, but the response to the launch of the Friends of the Beacon campaign suggests there will be huge opposition if the area is earmarked for housing in the final version.
Eden Council has been keen to stress that it will take on board the views of residents once the masterplan is put fully in the public domain. The issue of development on the Beacon is likely to put its resolve to the test.