A private individual has recently applied to the Planning Inspectorate for permission to reinstate a car park on part of New Road Common in Kendal, land which in the last two years South Lakeland District Council has restored to a green space for the public to use and enjoy next to the river in the centre of the town.

The land is common land and as such consent to develop it is needed from the Planning Inspectorate. Whilst the application is calling for the former unlawful car parking to be reinstated, the applicant does not have the consent of the landowner, South Lakeland District Council.

The applicant is seeking to undo South Lakeland District Council’s (SLDC) work over the last two years’ to regenerate this area of common land within the heart of Kendal.

SLDC has, in the last two years, removed the unlawful parking and begun a programme of enhancement so the common has been restored to green and a place the public can sit and enjoy the riverscape and views across to Kendal Castle.

A parish poll last year showed an overwhelming majority of 71% did not want the green space to return to its former use as a car park, in spite of a vociferous minority who wished to see car parking instated on the common.
Landscape charity Friends of the Lake District has called the application ‘spurious and underhand’, calling on the public to write to The Planning Inspectorate in a demonstration of opposition.

Jan Darrall, policy officer at Friends of the Lake District, said: “The land is common land and the residents of the district have a legal right of free access to it for recreation and enjoyment. This is a spurious and underhand application by an individual trying to fulfil their wishes contrary to the majority view and landowner’s view. The common has both a Scheme of Management, and Byelaws which make car parking here unlawful.

“The common is now a lovely outdoor space for everyone to use, and we urge people to give their views about its future to the Planning Inspectorate by writing or emailing before the deadline of 20 January.”

The charity has called for anybody with concerns about this application to write or email The Planning Inspectorate to demonstrate the strength of opposition to this application.

Comments should be sent in writing by 20th January to The Planning Inspectorate, Commons Team at 3F Temple Quay House, Temple Quay, Bristol, BS1 6PN or [email protected]

Read more about New Road Common and see our response to the application: https://www.friendsofthelakedistrict.org.uk/news/threat-to-new-road-common-kendal