Residents of Armathwaite, situated in the tranquil Eden Valley could face the prospect of a luge track, chair lift and associated buildings on neighbouring Blaze Fell if a recent development proposal submitted to Eden District Council is given the go-ahead. 

The fell forms part of a sandstone ridge with the proposed site lying in open countryside immediately adjacent to a County Wildlife Site and open access land; Cumbria Wildlife Trust has already objected to the proposal. 

Landscape charity Friends of the Lake District has raised its own concerns about the impact of what would be a major development for the Eden Valley and has this week submitted a response to Eden District Council. 

It is calling for the refusal of the application on a number of grounds including  ‘the suitability of the location in principle, harm to landscape character, visual impacts, impacts on wildlife and conflicts with stated aims and policies relating to climate change and sustainable travel’.

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

“The proposal would have a significant impact on views and the character of the landscape in the area, its tranquillity, and its wildlife. The traffic generated by such a major development is also a real concern. 

“We could support such developments if they were sited sympathetically, in appropriate locations – tourism is of course so important to Cumbria - but as we have seen with similar proposals, there appears to be a lack of regard for the landscape, communities or the impact on local infrastructure when developers select sites for such large-scale projects. 

“We are supporting members of the local community in challenging this application and would like to thank all of those who have already taken the time to submit their own comments to Eden District Council.” 

Friends of the Lake District’s main points of objection: 

  • In direct conflict with Eden local plan’s locational strategy
  • Compromise to the landscape characteristics identified in the Cumbria Landscape Character Guidance and Toolkit
  • Compromise to views, including those from open access land and permissive paths where we know many people enjoy walking
  • Cluttering of the landscape with vertical infrastructure
  • Impacts on tranquillity and dark skies – Significant traffic and light pollution threat.
  • Cumulative impact with existing infrastructure
  • Impacts on adjacent County Wildlife Site
  • Unsustainable location, lack of accessibility by public transport. The application itself confirms 80% of visitors will arrive by car – this conflict’s with Eden District Council’s declaration of climate emergency. 

We've provided information on how to submit your own comments about this proposal as well as a link to our full response. Click here for details>

The official deadline for comments is currently 27th October and no decision is expected until at least 18th November 2021.