Plans to sell parts of Lake District condemned
Plans by the Lake District National Park Authority to sell 7 of its sites in the national park have been condemned by the Open Spaces Society (OSS).
The park’s budget has been cut by £1.56m, 23%, in the last 5 years with the potential for further cuts in the future.
General secretary of the OSS, Kate Ashbrook, said: “A new owner may not have national park purposes at heart but may be driven by the potential commercial benefits to be wrung from the site.
“Although such development would require planning permission, and the national park authority would, we hope, reject it, the development might be granted on appeal.
“We believe that if the national park authority sells this land it could be at risk.
“We have great sympathy with the park authorities who are suffering slashed budgets and we back the Campaign for National Parks’ battle against the cuts.
“But it is no solution to flog off land which should be held for the nation. We hope that the Lake District National Park Authority will change its mind even at this late hour.”
The sites for sale are:
- Stickle Tarn, Great Langdale (£20,000-£30,000)
- Baneriggs Wood at White Moss, Grasmere (£110,000-£130,000)
- Lady Wood at White Moss (£20,000 - £25,000)
- Amenity land with river frontage at Portinscale, Keswick (£8,000-£10,000)
- Shoreline at Blea Brows, Coniston Water (£70,000 - £90,000)
- Yewbarrow Woods, Longsleddale (£110,000-£130,000)
- Blue Hill and Red Bank Wood, Ambleside (£100,000-£120,000)
Former director of the Friends of the Lake District and the OSS representative in the Lake District, Ian Brodie said: “I fear for the future of much of this land.
“Unless it is purchased by a suitable charity, it will potentially end up as someone’s private park, to the detriment of public access and the landscape of the national park.”
The properties are being sold through agent Michael C L Hodgson of Kendal and bidding closes on 12 March.