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Friday, 24 October 2014

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Vision for 2,700 new homes in Barrow revealed

THE final version of Barrow’s new local plan will come into effect in 2016, and will act as a guide for developers looking to build in Barrow and the surrounding towns and villages in the borough.

A similar process in Ulverston and South Lakeland attracted a great deal of controversy as several communities and interest groups objected to sites being earmarked.

Barrow Borough Council’s executive committee is due to pass the draft on Wednesday, paving the way for a first six-week public consultation to be launched on September 19. The council will also hold a number of drop-in exhibitions across the borough.

As well as feedback on potential sites, the council would also like to know of any places the public feels should be allocated for housing, employment or other use. The draft proposes 180 new homes per year, equating to 2,700 over the plan’s timeframe from April 2016 to March 2031.

A first consultation exercise was carried out in November 2012 and the comments received, and sites put forward, have helped shape this initial draft plan.

It contains a range of options for housing, employment, retail, infrastructure, open space, health, flood risk, heritage, design and climate change. Following consultation, a “preferred options” draft plan will be finalised in February.

A number of tests and consultation stages are required throughout the process, but the aim is to have the plan adopted in 2016.

Councillor Dave Pidduck, council leader and spokesman for economic development and regeneration, said: “We’re trying to look at an overview for the future of the borough in terms of 10-20 years which is quite difficult to do, but I admire the council officers’ efforts in producing this.

“It’s important people understand it is a consultation document. When you’re trying to predict the future, you don’t know what’s going to impact on the borough but this is an attempt to look towards its future development. If people are concerned about any element, they should look at the document and take part in the consultation process.”

Paul Littlewood is spokesman for the campaign group fighting a planning application for 38 homes at Rating Lane/Manor Road near Furness Abbey. He said the group was not against development in general, but would like to see public opinion at the forefront of shaping the local plan. He believes the new version appears to be an improvement on the old one.

Mr Littlewood said: “It’s the future of the community so let the people have their say on it. Councils should be involving the electorate of the borough for not only where shopping and housing goes, but anything to do with the community.”

Councillor Ray Guselli, a Conservative opposition member of the executive committee, said: “The consultation has got to be meaningful because people are starting to feel that although they might be asked about something, it doesn’t matter. It must not be an ‘awareness campaign’ to let people know what is going to happen. If the consultation is to be meaningful, the council should be active on what the public tell us.”

The local plan is already available to view at barrowbc.gov.uk. Comments can be sent to developmentplans@barrowbc.gov.uk or dropped off at the town hall.

Have your say

Where are the people who will be buying these houses coming from and why?

Who is going to employ all these extra workers, what new jobs are being created and where?

According to the census covering Barrow the population has been in steady decline for the last 15 years I.e. the only town in the Northwest to do so.

According to the local council there are up to 500 houses and flats currently un-occupied in the Barrow area so why do we need another 2,700 houses?

They have knocked down a lot of terraced properties in Barrow are these areas going to be used or left as dumps or for kids to play on?

Posted by Phil on 4 September 2014 at 17:57

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