Urge the Lake District National Park to allow a permanent car park at Catbells

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You may have heard on BBC Radio Cumbria or seen on Facebook that there are plans to convert the temporary seasonal car park on the Cupboard Field near the base of Catbells into a permanent car park. 

We urge the Lake District National Park Authority Planning Committee to APPROVE this proposed development.

LDNPA Planning Application 7/2017/2068 - Change of use of agricultural land to create a permanent car park

The saga of this planning application has been going on for many many years and the benefits to the local visitor economy by facilitating adequate car parking facilities at an incredibly popular visitor site is without question.

As a responsible local councillor wanting to ensure that Allerdale and the LDNPA is a place to live, work, visit and invest we need to ensure that the visitor experience is as good as it can possibly be whilst being cogniscant of our role in preserving our natural assets for years to come. Catbells is an incredibly important asset both culturally, naturally and economically - people come from all over the world to explore it, admire it and conquer it!

Facilitation of access to this area will no doubt provide significant long term economic benefits, ease and prevent traffic issues that would be caused by the removal of the car park and would only have a minor impact on visual amenity. On balance therefore the material benefits of the development would outweigh any material impacts.

The proposal to facilitate a permanent parking solution on the cupboard field would greatly approve the amenity to visitors and local residents for the long term future. Should planning permission be granted, parking issues along the local roads will be minimised and the impact on visual amenity can be managed through an adequate landscaping plan. In fact should the permission have already been given rather than the temporary permission that was provided the landscaping screening could have already been established by now!

Whilst acknowledging that sustainable public transport would be the preferred option for travel to the National Park and its beauty spots, we have a problem with traffic leading to Catbells now. This needs a solution; now.

With parked cars partially blocking the carriageway it is only a matter of time, god forbid, that an ambulance or fire engine can't get through. A permanent car park is a solution to this issue.

With newly awarded World Heritage status, there is only one way visitor numbers are going to go. Up. Let us welcome them! Let us make visiting our beautiful area easy.

Calling a car park a "blot on the landscape" takes no consideration of potential landscaping and dismisses the fact that if the car park had been granted planning permission in the first place it would be surrounded by now established trees and hedgerows.

The Lake District National Park Planning Authority members have a difficult decision on this matter; weighing up the benefits of the application against the impact of development in accordance with the local plan. I know it is difficult being on a Planning Committee and I wish them well.

By signing this petition, it will demonstrate to Planning officers and members the public support for this planning application as it is entirely aligned with our ambitions to support, nurture and grow the tourist economy in this area.

I hope you will support this petition. 

Cllr. Adrian Davis-Johnston
Councillor for Derwent Valley Ward
adrian.davis-johnston@allerdale.gov.uk



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