'Disappointment' as car park plans rejected

Miles McInnes at Watefoot carpark
Miles McInnes said supporters had exhausted all avenues of appeal [BBC]

A decision to shut a car park serving a tourist hotspot has been described as "extremely disappointing".

Waterfoot Car Park in Pooley Bridge, Cumbria, was given temporary permission to open in 2019, but the Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA) rejected a bid to keep it open, saying it was in breach of its original planning permission.

An appeal to the Planning Inspectorate upheld that decision.

Miles McInnes, chairman of Barton and Pooley Bridge Parish Council, said locals unanimously supported keeping the car park.

He said: "It's extremely disappointing, but obviously we're bound by it [the decision] and we have to accept it, and that's as far as it can go with these appeals.

"But it has caused a lot of distress and concern in the community, who all supported the retention of this car park.

"All the parishes in the valley, supported it. We went to the public inquiry and there was not a single opposition voiced at the inquiry.

"So it is exceptionally disappointing, but there isn't much more we can do about it."

Exacerbating traffic

Supporters of the car park had previously argued it was necessary as it is close to the pier where people can board the Ullswater 'Steamers'.

"out of their cars" and on to public transport.

However, the Planning Inspector said while the car park supported local businesses and drove footfall to the area, it also "exacerbated" issues with traffic.

In its decision notice, the inspector said there was clear evidence of "chaotic" parking conditions.

"It is logical and human nature that visitors will firstly seek to use free parking opportunities in Pooley Bridge and elsewhere, or pay for more conveniently located car parking to access Pooley Bridge and the Steamer Pier before resorting to use the appeal car park.

"It could be argued that the car park is exacerbating ongoing traffic problems in the vicinity. Therefore, on this issue I conclude that the principle of the permanent car park in this location is not acceptable."

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