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Saturday, 01 November 2014

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Protesters pledge to fight plan for 38 Barrow homes near historic site

CAMPAIGNERS against plans for housing on land near a historic tourist attraction in Barrow have vowed to fight the developers to the end.

The number of opponents to the proposed scheme for up to 38 homes on land off Rating Lane, Barrow, swelled to around 2,700 people after developer Story Homes submitted the planning application on Tuesday.

Protesters, whose chief concern is the estate’s close proximity to Furness Abbey and its Grade I listed boundary wall, gathered at the site yesterday.

Group spokesman Paul Littlewood, 62, of Hawcoat, said they will scrutinise the plans when full details become available and aim to call a public meeting. He said an extra 250 opponents had signed the petition overnight since Story Homes lodged its application, and the issue became a red hot topic on social media.

Sheila Batty, 72, of Friars Lane, was among the original six opponents who formed when the proposals, which initially earmarked up to 50 homes, were first revealed earlier this year.

Story Homes said it was confident the layout would alleviate any fears about negative impact on the abbey.

Mrs Batty, who argued that property listings show there are already 57 executive homes on the Barrow market, said: “It’s not an improvement. Our objection is there should be none at all.

“Also, this road is already very busy. It’s the main road people take to Roose and there’s a constant flow of traffic; it’s not just at school times.”

Kerry Griffin, 28, of Newbarns, said: “How diggers propose to get in and out during the building stage, with three schools and a college nearby, I just don’t know.”

Vanessa Allen, 62, of Redmayne Avenue, and chairwoman of Barrow Civic and Local History Society, said: “It’s the environment of the abbey, what we call the precinct, that we’re worried about. It’s not just a field in the middle of nowhere.”

The group’s Facebook and Twitter pages have urged people to share the petition online and write with their concerns to Barrow Borough Council’s planning department.

Denis Horan also attended with his daughters. He said: “The people of Barrow have to stand up against this, because once it’s gone, it’s gone, and it’ll spoil the whole of the abbey. The abbey is sacred land and shouldn’t be touched that close by housing.”

Story Homes said the development would go some way towards helping the borough meet its identified housing needs and that building work would secure and create employment locally, both directly, and indirectly through sub contractors and local supply chains.

It added: “The knock-on effect would support local businesses and Story Homes would make a contribution towards the provision, improvement and enhancement of children’s play space in the town.”

Have your say

The developers must be shaking in their boots at the photo of the protesters. I mean, one of them has their arms folded, obviously mean business!! Embarrassing. It will happen, they will be built. And so they should be if it's all legal and above board. It clearly is so accept it. And go back to your lashes of ginger beer.

Posted by degsy on 27 August 2014 at 00:05

Can't wait: take a look at the plans on the portal and read how they plan to deal with drainage. They want to drain the whole of their site into the beck which happens to be the very beck that floods the abbey and poses a significant risk to its foundations. If potentially exposing the abbey to collapse does not constitute a risk then I don't know what does. This is just one issue. Also, if you're using the term 'slums of Barrow' then no one is going to take your views seriously. Forgive me if I'm more inclined to support the views of a lady who is trying her absolute best to unite people and save a gem that this town should be fiercely protecting than someone who believes they are a cut above other people in town just because they have money.

Posted by Emma on 25 August 2014 at 09:02

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