History of Lindal & Marton

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Notes from Public Meeting held on 06 February 2004

Notes of an Open Meeting called jointly by the Parish Council and the Residents' Association and held on Friday, 6th February 2004 at the Buccleuch Hall, Lindal.

Notes written by Mr A Postlethwaite, Secretary Lindal and Marton Residents' Association.

Present

69 residents. Also in attendance Cllr J Major (Barrow Borough Ward Councillor).

Apologies

Mr J Collings (Treasurer: LMRA), Mr R Hickey (LMPC)

Introduction

Mr T Weall (Chairman: LMPC) welcomed those present and indicated that the sole purpose of the meeting was to hear and discuss a presentation of a scheme for landscape improvements to the Green at Lindal. The Parish Council had already agreed in principle to lodge an application for planning consent with Barrow Borough Council. The Chairman invited the Parish Clerk (Mr J Smith) to sketch in the steps that had led to the development of these latest proposals.

History

The Parish Clerk referred to the suggestion, two years ago, by the Residents' Association that some attention should be given to the War Memorial. Funding was secured for a landscape appraisal of the surrounding area. The suggestion was made for the Memorial to be relocated back towards the trees with low walls, seats, etc to create a small 'oasis' dedicated to the Memorial. A public meeting in November 2002 was generally supportive. Barrow Council recommended that attention be given to the whole of the Green and proposals were then made for a path, new railings and new gates. A public meeting in February 2003 was again judged to be broadly speaking in favour of the development. The Parish Council took the view that the public meetings were sufficient evidence of consultation and consequently they had resolved on the previous night that an outline planning application be submitted. This was on the premise, firstly, that the planning process would invite objectors to voice their concerns and, secondly, those present would be able to offer their own suggestions and comments to assist the Parish Council in deciding the final detailed planning application.

Presentation

The Chairman introduced Mr Des Metcalfe, an architect employed by South Lakeland District Council, and invited him to speak to the proposals which were illustrated by plans displayed in the Hall. Mr Metcalfe referred to the key features of landscape appreciation - form and space, use, and movement. The Green was a highly significant feature of the Lindal village landscape - it was an open space, it was a focus, the War Memorial held a place of honour in it, the character of the surrounding buildings afforded it a coherence that is reflected in its Conservation Area status. Yet the Green lacks vitality because it lacks movement. The proposals outlined renew the continuous boundary, placing the fence on a dwarf wall. The existing access opposite the Hall would be provided with a paved standing with public seating. An access would be created adjacent to the War Memorial which would be reset a few yards onto the Green to enable a paved standing to be introduced around it. There would be two additional points for pedestrian access: at the corner near the church and at the north end of the Green. These would be linked by surfaced walkways close to the margin of the grass. This would provide circulation and movement within the Green and facilitate its enjoyment by the wider community. Detailing proposed included low grassed banks to the rear of the War Memorial and the paved area opposite the Hall. At the latter point there would be stone gate piers and recessed gate with the option of repeating this treatment on the Hall frontage. The north access would reflect that behind the War Memorial though the precise siting of the access depended on highway safety rulings. A resited service access would be provided on the back road. The church access would also have piers and paving. The paths proposed would be 1.2m wide and be finished in a resin-bound aggregate.

Discussion

Mrs Helen Johnston (Chair of the Residents' Association) took the chair and invited individual responses and questions. Mr I Glover, speaking on behalf of 26 residents of The Green, asked to read a statement. In this it was claimed that a 1999 survey of opinion was still valid as an indication of feelings about the Green; that consultations leading to the present proposals were flawed; that residents of The Green had been denied a voice; that there was wide concern over issues of noise, nuisance and vandalism. 27 individual residents then contributed comments and questions. Issues discussed were:

Vandalism

Several expressions of anxiety. On the other hand should we allow mischief-makers to dictate our community life? What do we provide for our young people? Police need to know when and where any trouble occurs.

The Green

Several contributors referred to the value of an open grassed area in the centre of the village and some mourned the loss of grazing animals. Other speakers welcomed the chance to sit while children played.

War Memorial

Concern that its sacred nature is recognised. Need to ensure it stays clear of bird droppings and deposits from trees. Welcome for resiting that allows for safe and dignified Remembrance observances.

Railings

One speaker felt that the simplest solution was to dispense with railings completely. Need to avoid any appearance of a municipal park.

Paved area opposite Hall

Several speakers welcomed this recommendation and there was some agreement that the Hall frontage might be included in the plans.

North Access

One speaker disagreed with this suggestion; another welcomed it and favoured the access being at the apex of the Green where sighting of traffic would be easier.

Traffic Calming

Three speakers wished to see some form of traffic calming introduced in connection with any improved pedestrian access. Concern at road safety at proposed access points.

Paths

Some welcome for off-road route to school. Concern for sympathetic surface finish.

Useage

Several speakers welcomed the prospect of an opening up of the Green and of its enjoyment by the wider community particularly the elderly and young families.

Summary

There was a fairly even division among those present between those expressing a wish that the Green remain as it is and those eager to see the scheme of improvements proceed. Mrs Johnston thanked Des Metcalfe for his presentation and those who had contributed to the discussion.

Conclusion

The Chairman of the Parish Council resumed the Chair and advised the meeting that everyone with an interest would have a right of consultation as the planning process advanced. The Parish Council would consider all the points raised and, together with comments and advice that would come from the local authority as part of the process surrounding the application for outline planning permission, would then report back via future Parish Council Meetings.

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