1 December 2021

We are very pleased that the Lake District National Park’s Planning Committee has refused plans today for the proposed 150-space car park at Ullock Moss, near Catbells, by 7 votes to 2.

We spoke against the plans at the Committee meeting today, along with a representative from the local community. Members of the committee discussed a range of issues in coming to their decision - including the likelihood of attracting more cars, and impacts on landscape, the World Heritage Site and biodiversity.  There was clear concern about whether the car park would really provide a solution and also about whether the criteria for allowing an exception to planning policy by allowing a new car park in open countryside were met.

One member listed the various organisations that had objected, including Friends of the Lake District, and indicated that given there were so many with shared views, these organisations should be listened to. Another mentioned that in light of COP26 and the climate emergency it is time do something different in terms of finding solutions to parking and traffic issues.

We thank all those who added their voice and support to our campaign to challenge the car park.

We hope that this decision, along with two other decisions made in November to refuse proposals for new car parks, will provide the impetus to bring forward a range of positive, sustainable alternative and integrated travel options for National park visitors and residents alike.

3rd November 2021

A Development Control Committee meeting took place on Wednesday 3rd November where it was decided that the Ullock Moss Car Park application would be deferred to enable the Committee to carry out a site visit before coming to its decision.

We welcomed the decision at the meeting by the Lake District National Park Authority to refuse two other proposals to extend the time period of two temporary car parks.

Applications for new car parks at Waterfoot (next to Ullswater) and Lands Field (Coniston) were refused, due to concerns about impact on the landscape, conflicts with recently adopted planning policies, and the potential precedent for more similar proposals for car parks elsewhere in the national park.


29th October 2021

A Statement by Friends of the Lake District, with Campaign for National Parks, National Trust, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Woodland Trust, West Cumbria Bus Users and West Cumbria Friends of the Earth.

Friends of the Lake District and other leading environmental organisations are very concerned by the recommendation to approve the proposed 150-space car park at Ullock Moss near Catbells.

This development would set a precedent that would have a major bearing on the wider future of the Lake District, what it will look like and what it will become – and other National Parks - and we urge the Lake District National Park Authority’s (LDNPA) Development Control Committee to reject this proposal.

Whilst we very much recognise the need to address ongoing and growing issues relating to parking and vehicle numbers in the Portinscale and Catbells area, this proposal is not an appropriate solution.

We agree with Campaign for National Parks and the National Trust that the plan raises fundamental policy conflicts in regard to development in the open countryside and the development of new car parks. Local planning policy calls for a ‘coordinated and strategic approach’ to decision making about transport. This proposal directly conflicts with this sentiment and is not part of an integrated plan that will enable sustainable travel.

We also share the views of groups such as West Cumbria Bus Users and West Cumbria Friends of the Earth that it undermines the LDNPA’s own target to reduce, as a minimum, the % visitors arriving by car from 83% to 64% and to secure a modal shift towards more sustainable transport in the Park. Instead it will increase traffic to the area, harm the landscape and conflict with the Park’s own climate and ecological commitments.

Lorayne Wall, Planning Officer, Friends of the Lake District said:

“Allowing a new car park in this location threatens to set back plans for sustainable travel and a low-carbon Lake District before they even get started. We are simply asking that the Park adheres to its own plans and policies and implements them.”

The Campaign for National Parks has raised concerns that allowing a permanent car park in this location will make it harder to persuade people to use alternatives to the car in future and will set a dangerous precedent.

Ruth Bradshaw, Policy and Research Manager for Campaign for National Parks, said:

"Campaign for National Parks remains strongly opposed to plans for a new car park in open countryside in an already very popular area. Allowing a new car park here will facilitate yet more car use and will do nothing to encourage more sustainable travel. It is in direct conflict with the National Park Authority's ambitions to reduce car use to help meet its net zero target. It also sets a dangerous precedent for other similar developments both elsewhere in the Lake District and in other National Parks. Given the urgency of the nature and climate emergencies, it is even more essential than ever that National Park Authority members consider the longer-term impacts of the decisions they make."

Notwithstanding the wider implications, Friends of the Lake District also shares the concerns of Cumbria Wildlife Trust and the Woodland Trust about the immediate area. There would be significant harm to the area’s hydrology and to woodland that is of high ecological value and home to priority species protected under the NERC Act. The obligation for the applicant to demonstrate that their proposals would not adversely impact ancient woodland through increased pollution has not been met.

With the decision on 3rd November coinciding with the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), it is an opportunity for the LDNPA to demonstrate its conviction in tackling climate change in line with the recent comments of its own Chief Executive:

*“Our knowledge and expertise mean we are uniquely placed to lead on addressing the climate crisis….National Parks [are] at the centre of reducing emissions…and delivering ecological resilience.

*“If we can inspire even a small percentage of our visitors to think about some of their lifestyle choices while they are enjoying the benefits of being in our amazing landscape it will make a difference”. 

The LDNPA’s own targets and ambitions in reducing car travel, in tackling climate change and in ecological recovery are laudable, but this proposal clearly conflicts with these. We therefore urge the Park’s Development Control Committee to support this ambition and refuse this application.

*Press Release: UK’s 15 National Parks Release Joint Statement on Climate Change in lead up to COP 26 - National Parks

 


22nd October 2021

Like many people, we fully recognise the ongoing and growing issues relating to parking and vehicle numbers in the Portinscale and Catbells area, and the need to address these. While a new car park might seem the obvious response to parking problems, the proposed 150-space car park for Cat Bells at Ullock Moss, south of Portinscale, near Keswick, is not an appropriate solution for a number of reasons. Our key concerns are: 

  • The Lake District National Park Authority’s (LDNPA) own clearly stated vision for sustainable transport in the national park hinges on reducing car-based visits and use of more sustainable modes of travel to, from and around the national park. A new car park in open countryside will undermine this plan.
  • The LDNPA’s own very recently adopted planning policies require that new car parks are only permitted when they are a proven and integral part of a strategic plan for sustainable travel in the area and meet certain other criteria. This proposal is not part of a strategic plan and does not meet the other criteria.
  • The proposal will necessitate and encourage cars to travel through Portinscale village, exacerbating rather than helping to resolve issues there.
  • The success of the proposal is reliant on some measures being agreed and implemented by other parties and there is no guarantee of this.
  • A new car park and shuttle bus terminus would not conserve and enhance the character and special qualities and attributes of the National Park and World Heritage Site, including tranquillity, as is required by planning policy and legislation.

We set these out in our letter of objection to the plans and many of our members and supporters to did the same. You can read our response here:

Ullock Moss response (pdf) 


24th May 2021

It’s not too late to join the fight!

New policies make it clear that Ullock Moss is not the place for a new car park and that alternative ways of exploring the National Park are what’s really needed.

The proposed car park at Ullock Moss near Portinscale could:

  • Undermine hopes of achieving plans for Sustainable Travel and a Low Carbon Lake District
  • Set a dangerous precedent for other temporary car parks across the National Park 

You’ll find details of the application by searching for application reference number 7/2020/2291 at www.lakedistrict.gov.uk/planning/planning-application-search-tool

Many thanks to those of you who have already written to the LDNPA about this case. If you have not written already but are able to do so, we have prepared a template to help you (see below). 

A huge number of responses have been made to this planning application, and many share our concerns about the proposal, including many local residents of Portinscale itself. Like us, they recognise the need for parking and traffic issues to be addressed in the Cat Bells area, but also see that this proposal is not an appropriate solution.

  • Join us in letting the Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA) know that we will support them in standing by their local planning policies and their clearly-stated vision for sustainable travel in, to and from the National Park
  • Help us ensure that this proposal is not allowed to set a precedent for temporary car parks to become permanent

Write TO THE LDNPA to help the fight against this proposal. We've created a letter template to help you write your own response (with suggested text to guide you) and then email it to the Lake District National Park Authority. 

VIEW LETTER TEMPLATE
(Template includes instructions on what to write and where to send)


This case is not just about whether or not this particular proposal fits certain criteria or not. There is a lot more at stake, because this case could have significant bearing on the wider future of the Lake District, what it will look like and what it will become, as well as impacting directly on important views and habitats.

There are specific solutions for this area that are already set out by the LDNPA as part of a wider Smarter Travel plan for the whole of the National Park. This is the plan that should be implemented instead of developing new car parks.

Comments on the proposal should be made to the Lake District National Park Authority by 25th June 2021. Responses submitted shortly after that will still be accepted up until the decision is made (currently expected to be 7th July 2021).

We would be grateful if you would also consider copying us into your reply by copying our planning officer [email protected] into emailed submissions. Your comments will help to inform our own position on these issues.

You'll find more background information in the planning section of our website, including details of our comment to date and a copy of a press release sent to highlight this issue.


4th February 2021

Like many people, we fully recognise the ongoing and growing issues relating to parking and vehicle numbers in the Portinscale and Catbells area, and the need to address these. 

While a new car park might seem the obvious response to parking problems, the proposed 150-space car park for Cat Bells at Ullock Moss, south of Portinscale, near Keswick, is not an appropriate solution for a number of reasons. 

Key reasons we have taken this approach are: 

  • The Lake District National Park Authority’s (LDNPA) own clearly stated vision for sustainable transport in the national park hinges on reducing car-based visits and use of more sustainable modes of travel to, from and around the national park. A new car park in open countryside will undermine this plan.
  • The LDNPA’s own planning policies (current and proposed) require that new car parks are only permitted when they are a proven and integral part of a strategic plan for sustainable travel in the area and meet certain other criteria. This proposal is not part of a strategic plan and does not meet the other criteria.
  • The proposal will necessitate and encourage cars to travel through Portinscale village, exacerbating rather than helping to resolve issues there.
  • The proposal is reliant on some measures being agreed and implemented by other parties and there is no assurance of this.
  • A new car park and shuttle bus terminus would not conserve and enhance the character and special qualities and attributes of the National Park and World Heritage Site, including tranquillity, as is required by planning policy and legislation.

We have set these out in our letter of objection to the plans and urge our members and supporters to do the same. You can read it here:

Ullock Moss response (pdf) 

Give your view
The earliest date a decision will be made is 5th May. Although the official deadline for comments on the application was 5th March, responses will be accepted until a decision is made, so there is still time if you wish to respond. Please quote application reference number 7/2020/2291. More instructions for commenting on planning proposals are available here.


20th January 2021

Before Christmas a planning application was submitted to the Lake District National Park for a new car park at Ullock Moss, south of Portinscale, close to Catbells. The area had been used for temporary parking last summer.  The applicants had carried out some pre-application consultation at the time and we made our concerns clear at the time which can be seen in our initial response.

Members and supporters may wish to look at and comment on the application. 

Comments can be accepted up until the 5th March. The application can be viewed on the Park Authority website.

Follow this link and enter planning reference number 7/2020/2291 in the search box to view the latest information for this proposal on the Park Authority website.


29th July 2020

We have today submitted a written response to the consultation Ullock Moss, Portinscale Car Park.

We very much welcome the principle of managing the situation around access to Catbells and in principle may support the idea of park and ride type proposals. However, we think there are a number of issues around this particular location.

Read our full response here>


29th June 2020

A pre application consultation is being carried out by Crosby Granger Architects for a proposed car park at Ullock Moss, Portinscale. 

We think the proposal raises concerns around the principle of a car park at this location, how this fits with planning policy and potential landscape impacts upon the site and its surroundings.  We will be looking carefully at the proposal and responding accordingly. 

The link below provides information on the proposal and a link to survey monkey for your views.  The consultation runs until 31 July. 

https://www.crosbygrangerarchitects.co.uk/ullockmoss/


Banner image by: Ian Brown