Disfiguring town and villages with swathes of new houses

Date: Monday 7th August 2017

Sir, Our small village, Tirril, which lacks any public services, now faces a third proposed speculative housing development in as many months.

You report (Herald, 29th July) applications in Greystoke (40 houses), Stainton (31 new properties), High Hesket (15 properties) and Temple Sowerby, where our planning committee approved an amendment to squeeze 28 houses on to a site originally granted permission for only 25.

I note that the chairman of the committee, John Thompson, tried to prevent the local member, Henry Sawrey-Cookson, presenting his objections based on loss of amenity area and lack of use of local materials in a conservation area, saying it looked like predetermination. Well, I can only say that the way a previous application here was approved on Mr. Thompson’s casting vote, in the teeth of closely argued objections, looked pretty much like predetermination to me.

So, on the apparently unchallenged opinion of the applicant that “the current market demanded smaller units” that is what Temple Sowerby is going to get. Yet Robin Howse points out in his letter to you that at least one housing association regards the houses being built by Persimmon in Penrith as too small. These are the houses that Eden District Council is proposing to buy.

Meanwhile, as we surround and disfigure our town and villages with swathes of new houses, Penrith town centre becomes increasingly gridlocked with traffic that has nowhere to go.

Twice in as many weeks it has taken me 50 minutes to drive home from the railway station, a journey that should take 10 minutes. Anyone who travels regularly into town will have noticed how Penrith is now a single traffic jam from end to end. Yours etc,

GEYVE WALKER

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