JUST a few observations about development on the east side of Windermere.

I worked for the architect John Gill in Ambleside in the 1960s and 1970s.

Most prominent of his lakeside commissions were the Pearsall Building at Ferry House and the Windermere Yacht Club in Bowness.

Even John Gill whose work was widely respected was unable to sneak in more than two or three houses on the side of the lake.

The Lake District Special Planning Board, as it was at the time, had a clearly expressed policy, either official or unofficial, that no development should take place between the road and the lake.

That such a policy does not exist now must be a matter of regret to many who live on the west side of the lake and many lake users. The land between the road and the lake is the most sensitive area of all: it is not the water itself that gives the lake its character, but what happens on the shore next to it.

This has changed beyond recognition since the 1960s, particularly south of Bowness.

Spending time in another 'lake district' - the Lakes Region of New Hampshire - my experience of its largest lake, Winnipesauke, is also very different now from 30 years ago.

Instead of taking a boat to enjoy the lake’s tranquillity and beauty, with its wooded shoreline and the occasional modest cottage set among the trees, we now go out to gawp at the ‘trophy houses’ of the rich, which line its shores, competing side by side in extravagance and bad taste. May Windermere never come to this. Is it time to look at planning policy again?

Nick Pighills