Cumbrian landscape conservation charity, Friends of the Lake District, is inviting people to a meeting to discuss local planning issues including Carlisle’s St Cuthbert’s Garden Village plans and Penrith’s Strategic Masterplan, both of which have caused concern among local residents.

The meeting will be held on Thursday 21 February at the Old Fire Station, Peter Street, Carlisle at 4.30pm.

Planning officer at the charity, Lorayne Woodend Wall says, “Friends of the Lake District works to protect and enhance all of Cumbria’s countryside, not just in the Lake District, and people have been in touch with us about both of these significant developments.  We will be discussing next steps with our members and anyone else that would like to come along to the meeting.

“We have been working closely with members of the local community and it’s great to see so many of them getting involved and ensuring that they get their say in the future of the area where they live. We’ll continue our work with them to ensure that our shared concerns are taken on board.”

The Penrith Strategic Masterplan covering Penrith and land to the east of the town proposes three new villages, 5,560 houses, town centre improvements and upgrades to local road infrastructure. Talking about the Penrith plan Lorayne said, “We have concerns about the impact of the proposals on the landscape, and we also have significant concerns about the process that has been used to promote and develop the Masterplan document.”

The Carlisle plans involve up to 10,000 new homes south of Carlisle and Lorayne added, “Although the local authority has listened to us over some issues, we still have some concerns, including over the scale of and justification for the development; the reliance of the project on a southern link road and the likelihood of some of the ambitions in the plan materialising. The lack of evidence of proper consideration of the landscape is also of concern.  Friends of the Lake District is not anti-development and we support the concept of one or more modest size new villages of the right design in the most sustainable locations.”

The meeting is on Thursday 21 February at the Old Fire Station, Peter Street, Carlisle and starts at 4.30pm. It is free to attend. Please book by calling Friends of the Lake District on 01539 720788 or book online here.