Barton Road Playing Fields closure, Greyhound Bridge opening delay, rise of the student flats, nuclear’s heavy use of water, RAF anniversary

Barton Road Playing Fields
Barton Road Playing Fields

Readers’ letters, September 20

Barton Road Playing Fields dismay

I wish to object in the strongest possible terms to these proposals.

The scale of this planned development is totally out of proportion and is not needed.

Why take away this perfectly good residential amenity which is currently very well used and enjoyed by many of the surrounding residents and their children. There can be no logical reason to do this. All local schools state they know nothing about this plan and have not been consulted. They already have a perfectly adequate green meshed area.

The erection of a 2.6m green mesh fence would absolutely blight a perfectly and naturally bordered area which provides an oasis of green space and natural environment in a well populated residential area. The appearance would be akin to a prison.

Where will we walk our dogs, where will children play freely, throw and kick their balls, fly their kites, build their dens? On the streets, pavements and roads?

The impact on this well liked and popular area will be nothing short of disastrous.

Barton Road is tree lined residential area with a beautiful park at its centre. To erect a huge fence will completely change the character of it and look so out of place, it would be an eyesore. If the long term plan is to build on this green field site then this would be a doomed project from day one. Burrowbeck brook is already unable to cope with increased levels of rainfall as evidenced by the surrounding homes which were flooded last November.

This development is not required, not necessary, not welcome and would be downright ugly.

To propose this without consulting with, and taking into account the views of, the local community and councillors is almost criminal and illustrates how out of touch Lancashire County Council has become.

Michael Turner, local resident and frequent park user, Email address supplied

*The idea of putting a huge metal fence round the Barton Road playing field is shocking. This well-used, well-loved green space, surrounded by trees and hedgerows will be ruined. We have already lost the amazing panoramic view of old Lancaster (as seen from across the river), to the monstrous Caton Court Building. I am not against student accommodation as such, but who passed this skyscraper design?

The image of this building in last week’s Guardian was described as ‘changing the city’s skyline’. This should have read ‘ruining the city’s skyline’. Does no one in authority ever consider the aesthetic value of a space, or view anymore?

Liz Mills, Lancaster, Email address supplied

*While I am strongly in support of those who are objecting to the fencing of Barton Road playing field I do also recognise the view point of the school and county council. In a leaflet put through my letter box the statement was made that educational functions can be carried out on a town green.

Unfortunately there are flaws with the argument for dual use insomuch as not every member of the public acts in a responsible manner and, as is clearly evident, not every dog owner cleans up after their dog.

It is therefore perfectly understandable that for the health and safety of children, the school requires a fully fenced controlled area on which to undertake their recreational activities.

However, surely common sense can be applied with the local authority and the local community coming together and agreeing on a way forward which is acceptable to all.

Mike Jones, 7 Hall Park, Lancaster

Bridge delay is just an insult

It’s extremely disappointing to see yet more delays on the re-opening of Greyhound Bridge. We’ve had a hot dry summer but rarely did we see any work going on in the evenings, ideal in the long hours of dry daylight.

We’ve endured months of unavoidable traffic disruption but compounded by badly sequenced traffic lights, which despite numerous conversations with the highways team at LCC they have chosen to ignore.

This can be seen at the junctions of Torrisholme Road and Owen Road, the junction of Morecambe Road and Owen Road, the three sets of traffic lights by Dana/Halfords and at the lights on Thurnham Street and King Street. Three cars go through one side and over 20 from the other side!

The final insult is to include a bus lane without any public consultation....put on as an 18months trial to avoid the need for the local road users to have their say.

The bus lane could be acceptable if traffic restrictions only apply during rush hours and for buses only carrying passengers.

Derek Allen, Email address supplied

New student block eyesore

I read with sympathy Michael Pidd’s dismay at the six-storey city centre student block planned between Dalton Square and Mary Street (Guardian letters, September 6).

I fear that he will not have been reassured by the artist’s impression of how the block will look shown in the article on page 13.

Above the surprisingly wide sweep of Mary Street we see a fairly modest building of five storeys (perhaps sixth floor students will be accommodated in attic crawl space).

Then if we look at the drawing and follow the perspective lines down from the shop on the corner of Brock Street we note that shop is 1.5 storeys, the height of the one on the ground floor of the new building; and if we continue up the new building to the bottom of the fifth floor balconies and follow that perspective line back to Brock Street, we find this level is already higher than the roofs of Brock Street, as you would expect when it has extra floors.

Why can we not be shown an honest straight-on drawing with no perspective tricks, viewed from the far side of Dalton Square, so that we will be able to see how high this building will really loom?

It is not being proposed “to enhance the identity of Mary Street”, it is being proposed to greedily maximize square footage in the centre of the city.

It would dwarf the elegance of the City Hall and the square, and loom like a Victorian factory above narrow Mary Street, as well as ruining the view of the city from Castle Hill and Williamson Park as sweeping in a valley from one height to the other, and providing a precedent for further greedy builds of this height.

Do we have a Local Plan that would allow this sort of proposed eyesore to be dismissed?

Sheila Jones, North Road, Carnforth

Nuclear costly on water use

The rain returned several weeks ago and our gardens and fields have returned to their usual shades of green.

However, United Utilities still finds it necessary to take full-page newspaper advertisements urging us all “to use a little less water”, to spend less time in the shower, to turn off the tap when brushing our teeth, etc.

These are, of course, in themselves, laudable actions, but it also seems reasonable to ask ‘Where has all the water gone?’, and, subsequently, to speculate that a big part of the answer lies in the enormous quantities of water being extracted from Cumbria’s rivers and lakes to cool and service the many serious hazards that remain at the Sellafield nuclear site, including Building 30.

Thanks to the efforts of Radiation Free Lakeland and their recent Freedom of Information requests, we know that as long ago as 1993, the National Rivers Authority reported that Sellafield used 97m litres of fresh water (25m gallons) a day and that by 2014, according to Sellafield Limited’s own ‘Water Demand Study’, its abstraction of water amounted to a staggering 863 cubic metres per hour.

Philip Gilligan, Cumbria and Lancashire Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, 7 Rose Hill Grove, Storth, Milnthorpe

Great night of for RAF100

A big thank you to all who attended our RAF100 concert with Morecambe Band on September 1 – we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

We were pleased to have as our guest the Mayor of Lancaster, Coun Andrew Kay, who said during the interval: “If someone had told me a year ago that I would be attending a brass band concert, and thoroughly enjoying it, I wouldn’t have believed them – it is terrific.”

So if you think you don’t like brass bands, think again.

The band’s musical director Steve Simpson knows how to choose a wide range of music for all tastes and also offer well-known pieces with new arrangements.

A video has been produced of the concert – if anyone would like a copy, priced at £5 plus postage, please contact me on 01524 412987.

In 2019 we are intending to have our concert on the Saturday evening of the Vintage by the Sea Festival. We will also be inviting the audience (and band) to ‘dress up’ vintage-style if they wish. We look forward to seeing you there.

The Morecambe and Lancaster RAF Association branch has had a presence in the area since the Second World War when RAF Morecambe was a training and transit centre – many people passed through Morecambe on their way to other postings.

We are always on the lookout for new members, especially in younger age brackets.

You don’t have to have been connected with the RAF in any way, just simply support our aim which is to provide friendship, help and support to serving and ex-service RAF personnel and their families whenever they are in need.

Jane Latin, Secretary, Morecambe and Lancaster RAF Association