Proposed plans to Walna Scar Car Park, the popular outdoor access point, will change it to ‘pay and display’ and make it smaller than what is already available. Find out more about the situation and how to oppose the changes with the click of a button.
A planning application to alter existing parking conditions and create a 58 bay pay and display public car at Walna Scar has been approved and an application has now been made under Section 38 of the Commons Act 2006; the deadline for comments to support or oppose the application under the Commons Act is 14 December.
Walna Scar is an incredibly popular access point to such sites as the Coniston Fells, Dow Crag, and the Old Man of Coniston, among others. The area is designated as Common Land and the current situation is that parking is free while allowing for more than 58 cars to be parked, as well as a number of minibuses used for introducing young people to the outdoors.
Another concern is that, if the planned changes go ahead, it could set a precedent for the multitude of similar situations across the Lake District, potentially paving the way for Pay and Display car parks in the popular tourist hot spots such as Cockley Beck, Wrynose Pass, Hardknott Pass and others.
Rob Dyer, BMC access and conservation officer, said: “It’s a real shame to see Walna Scar Car Park changing into a more formalised pay and display format if the proposal goes through. Increased parking charges at popular access points for the outdoors is affecting more areas across the country. Of course, I have sympathy for the need to maintain these areas and the costs involved, but the outdoors should be made more accessible for people, not more expensive.
“High charges in car parks are a barrier to people being more active outdoors, especially for those that are on lower incomes. As a society we should be making it easier for people so they can experience all the physical and mental benefits being active outdoors provides.
“The proposed car park also has a lower capacity than the current informal situation provides. This creates potential conflict with residents of Coniston who will bear the brunt of those who avoid or can’t pay the charges, or those who are unable to fit into the new car park when it runs out of space.”
Planning permission has already been granted and an application has been made under Section 38 of the Commons Act 2006, which now needs responding to before 14 December.
Send your response before 14 December
Those that would like to oppose the proposed changes, BMC members or anyone else, can directly email the Planning Inspectorate using our email template, available as a download here. Please use this to help write your letter.
Alternatively, those that are short on time can click the red button below to generate an email that links to a download of the template. Remember that you must write your own name at the bottom of the email before sending.
Any representations should be sent in writing by 14 December to Planning Inspectorate, Commons Team, 3F Temple Quay House, Temple Quay, Bristol, BS1 6PN.
Or by email to email@example.com. These letters cannot be treated as confidential. That will be copied to the applicant and possibly to other interested parties.
In summary: concerns over the proposed changes to Walna Scar Car Park
RHF Le Fleming ( Rydal Estate) have applied to the Secretary of State for Environment,Food, and Rural Affairs for consent under section 38 of the Commons Act 2006 to carry out restricted works on the area locally known as Fell Gate, or Walna Scar Car Park. The Planning Inspectorate will decide the application on behalf of the Secretary. A ‘pay and display ‘ car park has been applied for with 58 proposed bays.
Free parking has happened here since anyone can remember.
Popular access point to the Coniston Fells; Dow Crag and The Old Man of Coniston.
The proposed car park may have 58 parking bays. On a busy day it would appear that more vehicle parking is currently available.
This area is designated as Common Land: this will limit access for many, rather than encouraging it.
Concerns have been raised about the times when the proposed car park will be open. 9.00pm has been widely reported as a closing time. During the summer months many runners, climbers and walkers will be out beyond this time. Or winter if Low Water beck is frozen.
Coniston residents have rightly raised concerns about the possibility of increased parking pressures on the village. They already experience pressures on the same road leaving Coniston Village.
As parking charges rise across the National Park there is a sense that access for all is not being encouraged.
Access will be restricted for three months whilst the work is undertaken.
Concern over the amount of designated bays for minibus parking, this area is used by many local outdoor education centres to provide many young people with a real mountain experience and their introduction to the fells.
Yet more ‘urbanisation' of the Lake District. Do we really want pay and display machines on the edge of the fells?
A general concern over the precedent set: Where next, Cockley Beck, Wrynose Pass, Hardknott Pass?
The Access and Conservation Trust
The BMC's charity – the BMC Access & Conservation Trust – promotes sustainable access to cliffs, mountains and open countryside by facilitating education and conservation projects across the United Kingdom and Ireland.
By educating climbers, hill walkers and mountaineers to enjoy outdoor recreation while minimising their impact on the landscape, conserving the UK’s upland resources, and campaigning for improved access rights, ACT enables future generations to continue to enjoy outdoor activities and the physical, mental and social benefits they bring to individual lives and society in general.
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