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.

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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 Object.site plan 1site plan 2

Dissolution with Councillors and the system.

Yesterday the Planning panel gave Story Homes permission to discharge surface water from their site at Strawberry How Cockermouth directly into the Tom Rudd Beck without even establishing a limit on the volume. Tom Rudd Beck is a fast rising beck that goes into the River Cocker then on into the River Derwent. They got the original planning permission on the strength that they would follow the Environment Agency guidelines of keeping surface water on site to slowly drain into the beck.

This amendment was deliberately place in among other more minor amendments that Story homes were applying for. Meaning that Councillors couldn’t vote on each amendment separately, as one Councillor wanted to. So the vote was 5 for and 5 against with the Chair again having the casting vote, which no surprise he cast in favour of Story Homes. This now means that Story Homes have carte blanch to handle the surface water however they wish to protect their development.

We had a good summer last year and possibly the driest winter ever, my warning is they haven’t seen anything yet, not to mention what is going to happen when they start building 224 houses on fields  Slate Fell side of the beck, as they kept reminding everyone they already have permission for.

Back to the beck, it is lovely little river full of wild life including Otters, for now. To know how things are with the area please follow The Others of Tom Rudd Beck on Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/TomRuddOtters

Tom Rudd Beck is getting contaminated by Story Homes

Please see our Facebook page  for an article and video from Otters of Tom Rudd Beck Facebook page or just go straight to their page. It has lots of lovely footage of the wildlife in and around Tom Rudd Beck including Otters.

This contamination is something we feared was going to happen and in fact highlighted it in our article ‘ Oh it rained today ‘ The wonderful wild life of the Beck will not fair well if this continues.

This will not end if Story Homes get the go ahead to build 224 more houses on the Slate Fell fields.  Planning Application not in yet, so watch this space.

Article from the News and Star website 8th March 2017

Have a read if you didn’t catch it in the newspaper today. Things that Story Homes deem acceptable, really aren’t.

Public turn out to view plans for 224 new homes on Cumbrian town estate

Public consultation by Story Homes for phase two of the development at Strawberry How, Cockermouth.
Sara and Stan Field from Cockermouth look over the plans
Pic Tom Kay Monday 6th March 2017 

Controversial plans for 224 new homes on a Cockermouth housing estate went on show in the town.

Eight-six people viewed the plans for Strawberry Grange, which is being built by Story Homes at Strawberry How.

Concerns were raised about flooding, traffic and the effect of such a big development on town services. Many people said there was no need for so many new homes.

The company already has full planning permission for 96 homes, which are being built on the estate, and outline permission for another 224.

It is preparing to submit detailed plans for those with outline permission.

A public exhibition was held at Saints Rooms, Kirkgate, as part of a two-week consultation process.

Sara Field, of Grayson Close, Cockermouth, attended with her father, Stan Field.

“I’m horrified, we do not need any more houses in town. These used to be beautiful green fields, so much hedgerow has been ripped out,” said Miss Field.

“I think everyone feels so jaded. We can all leave our comments but it will still go ahead, as it did last time.”

Mr Field, a retired architect, added: “They will create a flood risk for those downstream.”

Gillian Telford, of Cockermouth, said: “I’m very concerned about this development: the size, position and – this is my biggest concern – the impact it will have on our water courses.

“This will add to problems which already exist.”

Brian Mitchelhill, of Cockermouth, was also against the plans.

“I have never agreed with this development and think it will cause interminable traffic problems,” he said.

“I would ask all the parties involved to reconsider having a link road to the A66.”

Story Homes’ development planner Adam McNally was at the event.

“We have proven that the access off Strawberry How Road is acceptable.

“We did a thorough transport assessment and looked into its impact on the town infrastructure. The outcome was that there is enough capacity in the network,” he said.

“We will not be increasing the flood risk within the town. We have put a number of measures in place, such as the SUD ponds.

“This means the outfall from the site is certainly no worse than the existing situation.”

He said he felt there was demand for new homes. So far 658 people have signed up to the Strawberry Grange mailing list, and more than 100 people went to the showroom opening on Saturday.

People can view information about the plans and download comment forms on the Story Homes website.

News and Star 8 March 2017 11:05AM

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.

HAVE YOUR SAY,

6TH MARCH 3.00PM TO 7.00PM, ALL SAINTS CHURCH HALL.

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