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Thursday, 18 September 2014

Floods spark fresh fears over Ulverston housing

SEVERE flooding in recent weeks has sparked fresh fears over plans to build hundreds of new homes in Ulverston.

With the public hearing into South Lakeland District Council’s Land Allocations Plan on hold, residents and traders have urged the council to rethink its plans for the town.

Ulverston Town Council has now added its voice to the growing calls for a re-examination of the document, which earmarks land for nearly 6,000 new homes across the South Lakes.

The decision followed representations from residents criticising the potential impact on businesses in the area of the plans, which would see almost 1,200 homes built in Ulverston by 2025.

Jason Varley, one of the owners of Bardsea Leisure Park, said development may force the company, which brings thousands of visitors to Ulverston, to move out of the area.

He said: “We feel the impact of the housing around our property would be devastating. The success of our business is in no small part down to its location. The tranquil nature of the site would be changed if Bardsea Leisure Park is surrounded by houses.”

He said the high level of housing included in the plans are unnecessary and impossible to support with the current infrastructure in place.

Catherine Saunders, of Urswick Road, spoke on behalf of nearby residents Frank and Lynda Morphet, who run Swarthmoor Hall Farm.

The Morphets are tenant farmers and one of the fields they use has been included in the plan, causing them to fear for their business.

Ms Saunders read a letter from the Morphets claiming the potential loss of grazing land, and the increased risk of flooding if it is built on, would threaten their future.

The letter added: “Our dairy farm will no longer be a viable business.”

Councillor Norman Bishop-Rowe said flooding problems in Ulverston are bad enough without building on natural drainage sites.

He added the flood reports the Land Allocations document is based on are from 2007 — before the major flooding of 2009 and more floods last month — and are therefore out of date. He said: “We must ensure development does not increase the flood risk.”

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