Atkinsons Proposal to Build 30 houses on the floodplain

We are delighted to say that the online and paper petition to Atkinson’s gathered an amazing 300 verifiable signatures.  We knew there was opposition to a development on that site, but the community response and support has far exceeded our expectations.

The community held a public meeting on the 23rd June to discuss the way forward – minutes are below:
20220623 – Minutes of Greystoke community meeting regarding Atkinsons housing proposal

One of the outcomes was to start a petition against the proposal. Online and paper copies of this gathered an amazing 300 verifiable signatures. Another outcome was to represent the community views to the Parish Council at the next meeting in July.  The petition outlined the 3 main objections the community have to a development on this site and urged Atkinsons to drop their plans on the ground of planning law as follows:

Atkinson’s should withdraw any plans to build on Greystoke’s historic flood plain

The Greystoke community welcomes responsible house building, but not on sensitive flood plains in the historic heart of the village. Nor does the community support over-development of the village leading to loss of character and community.

The village experiences flooding on the flood plain in ever increasing volumes. Development of such vulnerable properties:

  1. has been discouraged by central Government since 2020.
  2. is currently banned by Eden District Council due to nutrient run-off contaminating the River Eden SSSI.
  3. flouts Eden District Council’s flagship Climate Change Emergency declaration.
  4. will be subject to Local Plan climate change planning constraints from Eden District Council and the Environment Agency, resulting in an up to 60% increase in size of the currently published 2017 3a/3b flood zones.

To maintain Atkinson’s good reputation as a responsible builder, who is normally sympathetic to local needs, the signatures below on this petition represent the first stage in urging Atkinson’s to drop any plans to build on Greystoke’s flood plains.

Atkinsons had been due to attend the July Parish Council meeting, and the community group asked for, and was given, a slot to speak on this matter. The community group sent the text to the Parish Council and asked for it to be circulated to councillors in advance.  Atkinsons declined to attend the Parish Council meeting in July having learned of the strength of feeling against the proposal.  The community group emailed Atkinsons on the 19th July with final details of the petition and gave them notice that we would be speaking (they had already pulled out by then as it happened). It was disappointing, but not surprising, to hear that Atkinsons would not be there.  They say they are putting this on the ‘backburner’ for now.

2 emails from Ross Cowperthwaite to Roy Fisher were read out at the PC meeting, and Atkinson’s had asked that they be passed on to the community group.  We have transcripts of them available below from the audio recording taken at the Parish Council meeting. The transcripts are pretty clear in most places. Any bits that are unclear from the recordings are clearly marked. For the record we also include our community email to Atkinsons, and the statement read out by Allan Marshall.

Here is the transcript of the first email sent to Roy Fisher on 9th July from Ross Cowperthwaite: Ross Cowperthwaite Email to Roy Fisher 20220708
Here is the text of the email sent to Atkinson’s on 19th July: Greystoke Community Group Email to Atkinsons – 20220719
Here is the transcript of the second email sent to Roy Fisher on 19th July from Ross Cowperthwaite: Ross Cowperthwaite Email to Roy Fisher 20220719
And finally here is the text of the community response read out by Allan Marshall, long of Greystoke Parish, on our behalf: Greystoke Community Response as read out by Allan Marshall on our behalf

The audio recording of the relevant emails being read out at the Parish Council meeting, and the community response is available here (3mb):

This has been a great first response, but make no mistake, our work here is not done. In the meantime you can continue to help by sending in any flood photos you have to the community group email: 

Finally the ‘plan’ handed out at the May Parish Council meeting which started all of this: Atkinsons Illustration

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