A 4million pound convention centre on Windermere Shore is given the green light

Posted: 03/05/2012

Windermere Lake is 10.5 miles long, 1 mile wide and 220 feet deep and is the largest natural lake in England. It is set in the stunning Lake District in the heart of Cumbria, with the west and south shoreline owned by the Nation Park.

The tourist attraction is renowned for its serene surroundings but this peaceful paradise is set to be disrupted when the construction of a £4 million convention centre begins. Plans have been accepted as the Lake District planners voted in favour of the glass fronted building, which will be the biggest of its type in the Lake District.

Campaigners such as Friends of the Lake District are worried about the affect of the complex on the surrounding area and have said the development would have a 'detrimental impact on the lake shore'. The amplified noise disruption from the construction of the building could drive wildlife in the surrounding forest and lake away. The increased traffic will upset the tranquil surroundings and there will be a visual impact from the glass fronting the lake, which is likely to reflect sunlight and generate light pollution.

It is hoped that some visitors will travel to the centre via boat to reduce traffic but there remains concerns about road safety and the car park for the building will also be built on part of a green field site.

On the other hand, the striking complex which will be built next to the A591 opposite the Low Wood Hotel is set to incorporate innovative ‘green’ features including a ground source heat pump, which will be powered by hydro electricity.

The building will be used for concerts, exhibitions, dinners and product launches and will create jobs and attract business leaders and organisations from across the country.

Mr Berry who is the director of the Low Wood Hotel which is situated opposite the proposed site for the convention centre, spoke to The Westmoorland Gazette and said, ‘We hope this iconic building will become a wonderful asset to South Lakeland and if we are going to entice people to come up here, then we really need to give them the wow factor so they spread the word that the Lake District is a great place to visit. We celebrate 60 years as a family owning the Low Wood site this year and we are absolutely delighted as it was always going to be a very difficult planning application.’

The Watersports Centre will be relocated to nearby garages to clear space for the new building, which English Lakes said would ‘blend sympathetically’ with its surroundings. Planning permission had already been obtained for a previous design of the building but it was decided that a more modern design would be appropriate for the area.

The Lake District Nations Park Authority head of development will make a final decision on the scheme in the coming week.

What are your thoughts on the new convention centre? Do you believe this building will be a great asset to the area or will it spoil the breath taking natural landscapes?

Amanda McGovern, Pali Ltd

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(3) Comments planning permission, lake district, new build, campaigners

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