People have spoken over the Beacon
Sir, On Tuesday evening Kevin Beaty was presented with a petition with more than 2,500 signatures asking for Eden District Council (EDC) to take all measures necessary to protect the Beacon forest from development and preserve it as a wild place with access for all.
Our target had simply been to gain 500 signatures to force EDC to hold a formal debate on the subject. This follows our rally three weeks ago when hundreds marched through the streets of Penrith to deliver the same loud and clear message.
Our support has been humbling. People from all generations and all areas of Penrith and the surrounding area have demonstrated their passion and depth of feeling on the matter. I cannot remember any other issue in recent years which has generated such an overwhelming and united response from local residents.
Friends of Penrith Beacon welcome the removal of the Beacon forest development plans from the masterplan by the landowners and will shortly meet them to discuss their plans for the forest. It is hoped these discussions will be productive.
Regardless of this however, the onus of responsibility remains on EDC to deliver on its promise to listen to the electorate and take appropriate action to safeguard the Beacon for future generations.
This includes critically re-examining in detail its plans to create three new villages at the rear of the Beacon to ensure that no development is allowed in the vicinity of the forest which would damage the woodland environment and threaten wildlife.
The people have spoken. It is time for EDC to prove it has genuinely got the message. Yours etc,
(Chairman, Friends of Penrith Beacon)