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Lake users happy with Windermere experience

Survey to find out how happy the general public are when visiting Windermere. Credit: ITV News Border

A survey by South Lakeland District Council of lake users has shown three-quarters of respondents are happy with their experience visiting Windermere.

The survey is designed to gather information on lake usage and is an opportunity for lake users to rate and comment on facilities and services. It is open to all lake users and this year’s attracted 529 complete useable responses.

In answer to the question asking how satisfied or dissatisfied users are with their experience using the lake 76% said they were ‘very’ or ‘fairly’ satisfied, compared to just 12% who were dissatisfied.

76% very satisfied with the experience using the lake. Credit: ITV News Border

When asked how they rated facilities 63% said public slipways were either ‘excellent’ or ‘good’, advice and help was rated as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ by 53%, car parks (49%) and public jetties (46%).

They were also asked about lake rescue and safety services 93% said they valued the service, and almost all the respondents (94%) who had been rescued at some point on the lake rated the rescue service as either ‘excellent or ‘good’.

Respondents to the survey were also invited to add comments on any other matters about their use of the lake.

Some of those comments referred to the 10mph speed limit on the lake, with some people asking whether the limit could be reviewed or an area set aside for water sports. A number of other comments said the speed limit should be retained or more strictly enforced.

The survey and comments were presented to the last meeting of the Lake Administration Committee. The comments about the speed limits were discussed and it was agreed that further analysis of the comments was required.

Grants will help make 'a really nice place' to live

South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) are offering grants to anyone who will convert their commercial properties into affordable housing.

Grants of up to £25,000 per new home would be offered.

Last year SLDC granted a total of £150,000 to landlord Bob Hogben to help him develop six affordable flats at the former Victoria Tavern pub, in Longpool, Kendal.

“I have spent money on putting in special heating and doing extra work that has helped make it a really nice place to live for people. It really did work very well and the council helped me every step of the way.”

– Bob Hogben, Landlord

The Victoria Tavern development was finished in May and there were 64 applicants for the six flats, which have now all been filled.

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Grants for landlords to covert commercial properties

Owners of non-residential properties in the South Lakes could soon be offered grants to convert them into new, affordable homes.

South Lakeland District Council could give up to £25,000 per new home to those wanting to convert their commercial properties.

In return rents must be set at affordable rates for a minimum of five years and tenants selected from the council’s housing register.

Remaining costs are met by the owner.

Councillors hope the grants will help to regenerate town centres by reducing empty properties.

Reduced rate parking fee for Ulverston festivals

Reduced rate all-day car parking is being offered to support two key Ulverston festivals.

South Lakeland District Council has agreed that people will be able to pay £1.20 to park all day in any of its car parks in Ulverston over the weekend of 14th - 15th June.

This is to coincide with the Another Fine Fest event celebrating the birth of comedy legend Stan Laurel, as well as the finale of the Ulverston International Music Festival.

This follows the Council's £1.20 all-day parking charge offered during the recent Ulverston Food Festival weekend. Organisers said the reduced rate helped attract large crowds to the town and contributed to the event’s success.

Windermere jetty facilities application approved

A revised application to improve facilities at Ferry Nab, Windermere, has been approved.

The Lake District National Park Authority approved the application, submitted by South Lakeland District Council, to extended the jetties by about 50m.

The plans are expected to create better access for people using the lake.

This comes after the first application was rejected last year.

South Lakeland District Council said it is pleased to have the go ahead to improve facilities and is happy to comply with the conditions of the approval - to protect and conserve reed beds and not to remove trees.

“The aim remains that the new development will be sustainable and will bring significant environmental benefits.

“It will bring benefits for lake users as well as encouraging people to leave their vehicles behind so they can take part in active and healthy pursuits, like exploring the lake and its surrounding area on foot, by bike, or by public transport.

“This meets some of the council’s key priorities around promoting health and wellbeing, supporting the economy and protecting the environment.’’

– Spokesperson, South Lakeland District Council

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South Lakeland's Local Plan takes a step forward

Developers are now submitting requests to build on 88 sites in South Cumbria earmarked to create 1000 new affordable homes and 1000 better-paid jobs in the area.

South Lakeland District Council is one of only a few councils in the country to find land for development, rather than waiting for developers to propose sites.

It's hoped it'll meet a housing and job crisis: there are around 3000 families waiting for a housing association home in South Lakeland and many more who can't find an affordable home.

The charity Shelter says fewer than 3% of properties in the area are affordable for families. Less than 1% of people in South Cumbria are unemployed but many are on the minimum wage and can't afford high Lake District prices.

Of the 88 sites, 20 will be for businesses, the rest for housing. Of those sites, 4.2% are brownfield while 95.8% are greenfield. Environmental groups feel that building on greenfield sites is wrong and will damage local habitats.

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