A year after a well-publicised demonstration against planning applications for a holiday resort near a stretch of environmentally sensitive South Cumbrian coastline, local people and others wanting to protect Roanhead remain concerned for its future.

Last year, a proposal was put forward for a 450-lodge holiday resort between Barrow and Askam-in-Furness, an area of coastline that boasts multiple protected sites for nature as well as expansive views to the Lake District fell

The prospect of thousands of additional visitors descending on protected habitats, which includes important breeding grounds for the rare Natterjack Toad, rallied communities, visitors, environmental organisations and residents of nearby Askam, Dalton and Barrow in Furness into action. A local community group called Save Roanhead was set up to campaign against the proposals.

On 11 July 2023, landscape charity Friends of the Lake District, along with Save Roanhead members, ran an event that asked people to ‘Make a Stand on the Sand’ (pictured below). The event demonstrated the strength of opposition to the proposals and raised awareness of what could be lost, attracting a lot of publicity including TV, radio and newspaper articles. 

The proposals for the resort were subsequently withdrawn, but developers later submitted a revised application, reducing the number of lodges to 233. This reduction failed to address the issues of concern, with 67,000 guests per year still expected at the resort.

Further to the 233-lodge resort a separate development consisting of more lodges, glamping pods and caravan pitches has now been put forward.

Chief executive of Friends of the Lake District, Michael Hill, said: “There was widespread opposition to plans submitted last year. We stood alongside members of Save Roanhead and other environmental organisations to object and will continue to do so in the face of these additional proposals.

“The impact of lodges, parking, lighting and restaurants on the landscape, along with the additional footfall of thousands more people in an internationally protected area teeming with wildlife, is completely inappropriate.”

Rebecca McIlgorm from Save Roanhead said: “Last year, thousands of people signed a petition against the proposals and objected to the plans. These new proposals continue to threaten the coastal area of Roanhead. Not only will the proposed developments impact on important wildlife habitats in this area, but there will also be an impact on local people who currently enjoy the tranquillity and remoteness here.

“The council have said that they are committed to halting biodiversity decline, so we hope they will seriously consider this when making their decisions on both proposals

“Even if people have objected before, we urge anyone who values Roanhead to make their views known again and as soon as possible. We have produced an easy-to-use objection template which people can find on the Save Roanhead website www.saveroanhead.com.”