Strawberry How Development a very interesting article.

Read this extract of an investigation into Story Homes’ Strawberry Grange development – and if you want the full story buy Issue 5 of The Cockermouth Curiosity on sale now! To read this and more fascinating articles like this buy The Cockermouth Curiosity at the Moon & Sixpence, Sarah’s, Shills, JBBanks Ironmongers, The Trout Hotel, Percy House Gallery, Limelighting, Lorton Village Shop, and in Great Broughton, the Bakehouse and Post Office.

The site is magnificent. The first phase of Story Homes’ development at Strawberry Grange commands lovely views south to the North Lakes peaks. The houses are close to Cockermouth’s renowned specialist shops, cafes and restaurants. On the face of things the plot is an estate agent’s dream. A visitor might worry that the new estate is bisected by a deep gorge. But on a sunny day the small stream gurgling at the bottom of the valley seems innocent enough. Also, the salesman reassuringly says the space will be kept as a lovely “Blue Corridor” for recreation, not residence. Story Homes is building 96 dwellings in phase one of the project. And it has just applied for permission to build 224 more in the second phase on a noticeably higher plot. Allerdale Borough Council is expected to give its decision by July. So it’s a good time to reflect on why Strawberry Grange has become one of the most passionately-opposed building projects ever launched in Cumbria. Campaigners led by Cockermouth author Judy Whiteside have written formally to Communities Secretary Sajid Javid MP demanding he scrap phase two, because it would “significantly increase flooding in the town.” No fewer than 875 households – more than one in 10 residents of Cockermouth – have objected to the project. The reason for concern is no mystery. Catastrophic floods in 2009 left 1,400 people homeless for months after the fast-flowing Derwent and Cocker Rivers burst their banks submerging Main Street below 8 feet of water. A second flood in 2015 saw water levels reach 4.5 feet. That time an estimated 700 homes and businesses were washed out despite the installation of a £4.4 million self-raising flood barrier system part-funded by residents. Yet promised Environment Agency works to mitigate future devastation have hardly got off the drawing board. Naturally residents want to stop developments that might cause a repeat. Many were mystified when in December 2014 Allerdale approved the first phase of Strawberry Grange. The reason is the thing the salesmen call the “Blue Corridor” is actually a Level 2 Flood Zone, “normally” expected to flood between once a century and once in a thousand years.


And so it starts again (enough is enough)

Just to let Cockermouth know that Story Homes have submitted plans for 224 houses on the hill side of Slate Fell. Go to Allerdale Borough Council web sites search Planning applications and put in ref number 2/2018/0155 to have a look at what they want to build. If you feel that 224 is more houses than this town needs please plan 1site plan 2

Story Homes on the move again

Having ruined the environment at Strawberry How and destroyed the green fields, Story Homes are now after the fields on Slate Fell. Gone will be a great walk up Slate Fell across the field and the houses on Slate Fell Estate will join up with Strawberry How Rd. It will be houses as far as the eye can see.

There is a consultation meeting that Story are having in all saints rooms on 6th March 2017 regarding phase 2 strawberry Grange, they intend to put in a planning application for phase 2.




Access been restricted by Story Homes

Cockermouth dog walkers and residents will not be happy about this….

I have walked my dogs for 8yrs now along the railway path near the strawberry how development some times using the unofficial path that starts next to the railway line at a gate on the railway path to get to Slate Fell. This path goes across the small field, then crosses over a style/fence into the large field between Tom Rudd beck and Slate Fell estate.

The path then goes right straight to the gate or left it follows the beck for a while then it turns up the large field where it joins an official right of way that crosses the field.

Story Homes have fenced this unofficial footpath off and are now restricting access to the field. This doesn’t seem right. I have spoken to people born and bred here and this path has been used for generations as a right of way. After reading a House of Commons document SNSC 06026 surly there is something the Council can do to keep this path accessible as it would appear that under the law it can now be used as an official path. It can clearly be seen as a well used path in the ariel photo.

The most common way that rights of way come into existence is by presumed dedication. There is a long established principle that long use by the public without challenge can constitute evidence that the landowner intended to dedicate the used route as a public right of way. Presumed dedication can take place by common law or statute law. Statute law requires a period of use of 20 years from the point the use of the path is brought into question.Common law dedication may require less time.