Part of White Moss is common land. Photo: David Brown CC-BY-SA-2.0

Part of White Moss is common land. Photo: David Brown CC-BY-SA-2.0

Britain’s oldest national conservation group has welcomed planners’ rejection for the second time of proposals for a ‘welcome hub’ in the Lake District.

The Open Spaces Society said it was overjoyed that the Lowther estate’s plans for the development at White Moss had been turned down.

Jim Lowther, brother of the eighth Earl of Lonsdale who is custodian of the family’s estate, had applied to develop common land at White Moss between Grasmere and Rydal Water. This followed the rejection of a similar scheme last November.

The OSS said the proposals included the development of commercial visitor facilities with a car park, what the society called an ugly ‘welcome hub’, bike hire and events.

The Lake District National Park Authority rejected the plan on the grounds that it conflicted with a number of national park policies and the building ‘would cause harm to the character and appearance of the area by reason of its presence, size and design in this woodland setting’ and is contrary to the policy ‘which seeks to protect the spectacular landscape of the Lake District national park’.

The Open Spaces Society, which campaigns for commons, and the Friends of the Lake District, which represents the Campaign to Protect Rural England in Cumbria, were among the objectors.

Kate Ashbrook, general secretary of the OSS, said: “We are overjoyed that the national park authority has again rejected the plans because of their highly damaging nature to the peace and tranquillity of this lovely part of the national park.

“It is totally inappropriate to commercialise this beautiful, quiet place and deeply worrying that the landowner should wish to do so. The plans were more suited to Disney World or Legoland than to a national park which is seeking world heritage status.

“We hope Jim Lowther has learnt his lesson and will stop trying to make money out of White Moss.”

Part of the land at White Moss is common land. Commons are land subject to rights of common, to graze animals or collect wood for instance, or waste land of the manor not subject to rights. The public has a right to walk on all commons, and to ride on many, including White Moss Common.

Before any works can be constructed on common land the applicant must obtain the consent of the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural in addition to any planning permission.

Some articles the site thinks might be related:

  1. Relief as Lake District authority throws out ‘Legoland’ White Moss plans
  2. Campaigners welcome withdrawal of plans for South Downs campsite
  3. Village greens at risk from latest Government plans, campaigners say
  4. Access campaigners aim to put the wind up Olympic sail plans
  5. Campaigners begin second phase of battle of Warcop commons as inquiry resumes