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Monday, 01 September 2014

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Homes plan ‘in chaos’, councillor claims

THE investigation into plans that could see thousands of homes built across the South Lakes is in chaos, councillors have claimed.

Following the announcement that the hearing into South Lakeland District Council’s Land Allocations Document had been adjourned until next year, councillor James Airey said the process was “in chaos”.

SLDC has requested more time to thoroughly investigate issues that have arisen so far in the public investigation, led by planning inspector Simon Berkeley.

Cllr Airey said the document is “flawed” and called on SLDC to take the chance to reduce the number of homes proposed in the document.

He accused SLDC of trying to rush the process and said the postponement was a “big embarrassment” for the council.

He said: “I have said for quite some time this document not in the best interests of residents.”

He said the focus should be more on creating employment than residential properties.

Cllr Airey added: “We are not anti-development – we just want something that is deliverable.”

However, leader of SLDC Peter Thornton rejected criticisms of the document and welcomed the number of people that had put forward their views.

He said: “We just need time to look at all the things that have been brought up.

“South Lakeland needs jobs and it needs houses – that is accepted by almost everybody. The only issue is how we do it and where we put them.

“It is a delay in some ways we would rather not have had but it is more important to do it right than do it quickly.”

Speaking at The Times Economy of South Cumbria Forum yesterday, Harry Knowles, chief executive of Furness Enterprise, praised the document for providing homes for new workers.

He said: “SLDC have done a brilliant job in terms of the framework.

“We just need to make sure the framework makes it through the public inquiry.”

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