Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England

Not In My Back Yard


Planning applications tend to be contentious things where ever you live in the UK and if you happen to live a National Park the rules and regulations surrounding them are even more rigorous than anywhere else and often attract vociferous  public debate; so whilst in Nether Wasdale I paused to read this sign,


I was curious to see what the NIMBY issues are in the village, take a closer look.

Up the pole 1

Surely to re-site the village maypole can’t be contentious can it? But then again, it needs listed building consent, so it could get tied up in red ribbons if not red tape, I hope they get it sorted before May.

(Now I’ve got to go to work in a moment, so I haven’t got time to ferret about at WWW.lake-district.gov.uk, for the latest info on this, so I’m relying on one of you out there to go off and read the detail on-line, please report back)

Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

17 thoughts on “Not In My Back Yard

  1. It looks like the maypole is being moved back to it’s original position, having been moved too near to a tree in 1960!

  2. I like the application –
    “Is site currently vacant?” – “Yes”
    “If Yes please describe the last use of the site” – “Village Green”
    You can imagine that there were a few “durrs” going on when they had to fill out the form! (There are a lot of crossings out and “N/As”…)
    I can’t see if there are any comments, though – I can’t imagine that anyone would complain!

  3. My opinion as someone who fills out planning forms regularly (or did)…

    I’m not sure if this would always need planning permission, perhaps the National Park means that permitted development rights are different. It would always need listed building consent as he maypole is a grade II listed structure.
    The applicant wants to repair the maypole by removing a large part of the existing fabric (the corroded cast iron pole) and to remove it from its existing location.
    The relocation should be relatively easily justified through the tree survey they’ll have to produce and the historical evidence for the original location.
    To replace the cast iron pole with a new steel one they should have to prove that it is beyond repair and how they will reuse the parts that are not. They have mentioned this in their design statement, but I would also have included the engineer’s report. There should also be a means of identifying the new parts and the fact that the pole has been moved (twice) – so that future inhabitants of Nether Wasdale are aware of its history (this links to sustainable development policies).

    I also notice that it took a couple of weeks for the council to register the application. That usually means they were asking for further information from the applicant. My guess is the design statement as it has the application ref numbers on it.

    Re the site being vacant. If I filled out the form I would not have said it was vacant – it is in use as the village green. In this context vacant means not in use, rather than not built on.

    The notice is on the signpost as planning & LBC applications have to be advertised – always read these little notices or you won’t find out until it’s being built. Saying that, it will also be in the local paper announcements column (but when did you last read that?). In Scotland we have to send recorded delivery letters to all the neighbours as well.

    There, will that do?

  4. You stars!!
    Mr Uhdd ALWAYS reads the planning applications in our local paper (and foot path closures notices), but they now print them sooooo small you need glasses and a magnifying glass to read them, so I suspect most people don’t bother.
    As Maypole dancing is pagan in origin, does this application tick any boxes for the local authority re ethnic diversity 🙂

  5. -Sarah “In Scotland we have to send recorded delivery letters to all the neighbours as well.”

    Neighbour notification is the same in England (the company I work for develops the software which (some) local councils use for processing their applications; though I don’t know a huge amount about the process itself… Plus we don’t have to have recorded delivery letters – the letter informing me of the application to put a mobile phone mast on the roof of the flat next to me wasn’t recorded…) – however, it depends on how the neighbours are defined in the system – it is usually based on geographical location (i.e. a circle on a GIS system with the planning application address in the centre), and if you just fall outside that circle, you won’t get notified.

    Hence I always read the notices pinned to lamp posts – occasionally I’ve avoided a nasty suprise that way!

  6. How strange is that.
    And a coincidence that tonight i did my hill run and a poster has gone up talking about a new road being planned.
    But a maypole.
    It should be made from cast iron though and be kept the same.
    Trouble with these planning things is that once they have decayed on every lampost your left with a million tie wraps left on the posts.

  7. Naturally I had to go look, and found a windy story about the enormous response a Lake District Planning Exercise has had. Mercy. Still, I can see people being dead serious about preserving the beauty of the region.

  8. They’ll have to have a Public Enquiry. 🙂

  9. It’s a tricky one, retaining all the things that make a place special and yet not being so restrictive that it makes it impossible for local people to live and work in the area, I don’t think you can set a place in aspic, it will change and evolve.
    Yesbuts, I reckon the pub is the best place for an enquiry

  10. The Maypole is being re-sited to its original position (it was moved to clear a farm access). We would like to replace the Maypole with a cast iron one, but the current pole has been condemned and is beyond repair and a cast pole is quite expensive. The debates continue – how should we preserve the old one? Are we obliged to repair the old one? etc. One of the problems with living in Wasdale is that in many ways we hold it in trust for a much wider community of virtual residents who visit regularly and have strong emotional ties. There is therefore significant interest in what are for us small domestic questions.

    And, Robert, the Maypole is not the only thing to be too close to a tree. We recently had a tree land on our the roof of our beautiful church and we urgently need to raise some money to help pay for the repairs.

    If any of you who care enough about wasdale to be reading this are inclined to make a donation (most gratefully received), you will find an email address on our website.

    AMS, Yew Tree Farm, Wasdale

  11. Thank you AMS, for the information, we saw your Church and its damage; I’ve some photos, I’ll post them

  12. AMS, do you know how many farms in the area are called ‘Yew Tree? we noted quite a few.

  13. It depends on what you mean by the area. We are the only Yew Tree Farm in Wasdale (more would be too confusing!) but it is generally quite common in the Lake District. The most famous is Yew Tree Farm in Coniston (who have http://www.yewtree-farm.co.uk) once owned by Beatrix Potter (consider the digression into Herdwick sheep and the National Trust done). The Lakeland Shepherds’ Guide 2005 lists the following:

    Yew Tree, St. John’s in the vale, Keswick
    Yewtree Farm, Rosthwaite
    Yewtree, Wasdale (ours!)
    Ewe Tree Farm, Duddon valley (how odd!)
    High Yewdale Farm, Coniston
    Yew Tree Farm, Coniston (as above)
    Yewdale bridge, Coniston

    There may be more that are no longer farms or don’t have sheep – I wouldn’t know anything about such aberations.

    Hope that helps.

  14. Pingback: The Church Roof « Uphilldowndale

  15. I was interested to read about the neighbour notification process. There’s a new house going in on the farm across the room. It’s a huge five-bedroom, five-bathroom affair replacing a bungalow. We weren’t notified and when we queried the council after finding out, we were told we weren’t neighbours as our boundary doesn’t adjoin the farm’s. We’re on the opposite side of the road and therefore are not neighbours. We weren’t allowed to make an objection either, but we were allowed to make an observation.

  16. Sorry, that should have been road, not room! 😀

  17. @ Stonehead,
    There are a number of rules governing who is a neighbour or not. It’s something the council planning admin people check very carefully as getting it wrong can invalidate the permission. The applicant’s agent will also have checked carefully as it costs a lot of time and effort (and money) to repeat the process if the council find a mistake.

    The other thing they really check is the red line round your site boundary. Woe betide you if that’s not to their liking…

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