Long-term vision, but Eden’s villages are suffering short-term damage

Date: Tuesday 1st May 2018

Sir, I don’t necessarily disagree with Kevin Beaty’s views on future plans for Penrith (Herald, 14th and 21st April), but I have a few questions.

Why is it less of a carbuncle to develop 10,000 houses and leisure facilities on the rural north east side of Penrith Beacon than to have an upgraded trunk road junction in a location already compromised by urban development?

What evidence is there that Penrith needs 10,000 more new homes, over and above the already-inflated housing targets in the still-emerging local plan?

Does the justification for that number of new homes take account of the Government’s proposed garden village to the south of Carlisle, which includes another 10,000 houses quite close to Penrith?

Why has Eden District Council given priority to preparing long-range “plans” for the area when the statutory local plan has been repeatedly delayed, apparently due to lack of resources in the council’s local plan team?

This has been to the detriment of many villages where the council has granted permission for speculative housing due to the lack of a local plan — and bizarrely in contravention of the emerging local plan policies.

Mr Beaty’s concern about the environmental impact of new development is welcome, but is in contrast to the dismissal of environmental factors by the council in those recent housing decisions in the villages.

Who stands to gain from such apparently contradictory “planning”? Yours etc,