Kirkby Stephen housing proposal “intolerable”

Date: Monday 11th October 2010

Sir, Further to your report, “Kirkby Stephen plans for 60 new homes”, Herald, 2nd October), we love Mr. Story’s optimism but our “strong local community” is against the proposed building on a green field behind South Road.

Mr. Story says he is “excited to have the opportunity to be part of this community by bringing his award-winning homes to our attractive vibrant town”. This is an insult to the very people he is patronising with his hypocritical words. He is after profits, not friends.

The traffic survey mentioned in the planning application was undertaken in December, the quietest time of year. Why not in July when the tourist traffic and auction mart are clogging our streets? Or was it a cynical ploy to massage the figures?

Another 60 families will be expected to share our already overstretched services. The council must provide more police, school places and doctors, and find the money to pay for these changes. Or are we to be squashed together with our quality of life compromised?

Where is the need proven for 60 new homes? There are currently houses being erected on the old gas works. Many houses remain unsold in this town, and nationally the housing market is depressed.

There is genuinely no need for more homes, but everyone I speak to feels they have lost the fight to stop the plans being passed. And I’m sorry to say our feelings are the last item on the list of planners’ concerns. Ironically, if the survey of the field had encountered bats, natterjack toads or other rare species they would be protected and their home left intact. People of Kirkby Stephen are not being accorded that same consideration.

If this green field is bulldozed by Mr. Story’s building firm, bringing 60 more families, then life in this pleasant and sociable town will be irredeemably changed for the worse.

We are for change for the better, but this is an intolerable proposal and we are against it. Yours etc,


South Road, Kirkby Stephen.