Executive approves Penrith Masterplan and start of public engagement process
Eden District Council’s Executive on 4 September 2018 approved the publication of the Penrith Strategic Masterplan – A Vision to 2050, a document that sets out the Council’s proposals for how the area can grow over the next 32 years, with the creation of three new villages on the edge of Penrith and 73 hectares of employment land close to Junction 41 of the M6.
Councillors also agreed to commence an eight week public engagement process for the Masterplan starting on Monday 10 September and closing on Friday 2 November 2018.
One element of the bold proposals contained in the Masterplan are measures to protect Penrith’s historic Beacon from developer creep and to improve public access to the views from its iconic pike, whilst allowing some mixed use low density development to the rear of Beacon Fell on commercial forestry land.
Eden District Council’s Leader, Councillor Kevin Beaty, said: “I welcome the debate the proposals in the Masterplan are already stimulating. I understand some people are initially concerned about the ideas for the Beacon, but this is just one element of the document. We agree that the Beacon needs protecting from inappropriate development, which is a major risk if we don’t have a clear plan for how Penrith grows. We also want more people to benefit from community green spaces, this is why we are asking people to come forward with their ideas to improve access to the Beacon.
“We don’t want the future development of Eden District to be the identikit developer estates you see elsewhere. The spatial design of the new villages we are proposing have the character of and feel of Eden District’s existing towns and villages at their heart. The Masterplan contains bold proposals for growth, which seek to address the major issues the District faces now such as a shrinking working age population, without it the District risks stagnating and the opportunities on the horizon to stimulate economic such as the dualling of the A66 may go elsewhere such as Carlisle or the West Coast of Cumbria.”
Proposals contained in the Masterplan for how Penrith might grow up to 2050 include:
- Three new villages to the north west of Penrith
- Supplying 73ha of new employment land
- A plan to attract better paid jobs to Penrith and Eden
- Ensuring the 5,560 new homes include affordable housing
- A mix of housing to provide family homes alongside smaller properties for people retiring or living alone
- A plan to safeguard the future of the Beacon and increase access to its summit
The Masterplan is no longer fully reliant on a Northern Relief Road for Penrith that was detailed in previous draft versions of the Masterplan, after listening to feedback from the Stakeholder Group the proposals are more reliant on upgrades to Kemplay Roundabout and Junction 40 of the M6. The Masterplan does include detailed plans for transport, eco homes and Penrith’s existing town centre.
Eden District Council’s Development Portfolio Holder, Councillor John Owen MBE said: “We are listening to the concerns of businesses and residents about how Eden grows in the future. We are hearing from businesses that they are struggling to recruit staff locally and that we need a larger pool of highly skilled workers if we are to retain businesses in the local area. We also need a better mix of housing to meet existing and future needs. The issues about affordability in Eden are already well documented, but equally pressing are the demands of our ageing population and an increasing number of single person households. The Penrith Masterplan provides solutions for these important issues.”
Eden residents will have the chance to find out more about the Masterplan and have their say on its proposals at a series of events around the District which begin with a pop up shop opening at 10am on Monday 10 September at 3 Middlegate in Penrith (formerly the Flying Bacon).
The Pop Up Shop will be open at the following time during September 2018:
- Monday 10 September 10am-4pm and 6pm-8pm
- Wednesday 12 September 10am-4pm and 6pm-8pm
- Thursday 13 September 10am-3pm
- Saturday 15 September 10am-2pm
- Tuesday 18 September 10am-4pm
- Thursday 20 September 10am-4pm
- Monday 24 September 10am-4pm
- Wednesday 26 September 10am-4pm
- Friday 28 September 10am-4pm
If community groups, schools or colleges would like to pre-book a visit to the Pop Up Shop in September please contact Eden District Council’s Planning Policy Team on 01768 817817 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A series of public engagement events are also being planned across Eden District in September and October. The dates will be made available online at www.beaconvillages.co.uk (website will go live at start of consultation period) via social media and in the local press. The ones scheduled so far include:
- Tuesday 18 September 10am-2pm at Penrith’s Farmers Market Thursday
- Thursday 4 October 2pm-6pm at Langwathby Station Café
- Friday 5 October 10am -4pm at Lazonby Co-op
- Tuesday 9 October 10.30am-12pm Great Salkeld Village Hall Café Crack
- Wednesday 17 October 2pm-4pm Newbiggin (Stainton) Community Café
To find out more go to www.beaconvillages.co.uk or search Facebook for Penrith2050 or follow #Penrith2050 on Twitter.