Rory Stewart attended a high-level meeting convened by Barton Parish Council’s Chairman Miles MacInnes, and attended by representatives from The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community, Cumbria County Council, the Lake District National Park Authority, Eden District Council, the Parish Council, the Ullswater Association and Lake District Estates, to discuss the future of Pooley Bridge following Storm Desmond. The meeting was designed to bring these various bodies together to discuss the potential for a number of development ideas for the village and parish following the devastation of last December’s floods, and to take the village’s recovery as an opportunity to look in detail at the amenities and their potential.

A number of ideas were discussed, including the design and siting of a permanent replacement foot and road bridge; the urgent need for enhanced car and coach parking capacity; flood defences; and interesting thoughts around the potential for a jetty or pontoon for visiting boats, a community play and picnic area, and sustainable energy projects utilising hydropower.

Rory Stewart MP thanked Barton Parish Council for inviting him, and co-introduced the meeting alongside Miles MacInnes, saying:

“Pooley Bridge deserves a compelling vision, and I am fully behind the idea of a vision for Pooley Bridge that sets realistic expectations about what can be achieved. Obviously the priority has to be to make it flood resilient, and then to look at issues around congestion and infrastructure, but the key thing is that it must be affordable, and that the community has a say in any plans for the village. But I am fully supportive, and stand by to help in any way I can. In particular, I congratulate Miles and the Parish Council on their obvious commitment to the people of Pooley Bridge, and to ensuring that the village can develop in a sustainable way.”

Speaking after the meeting Miles MacInnes said: “We are grateful to Rory for his time, and help in kicking off a very positive and constructive meeting, with an undoubted degree of consensus. We very much hope that the Prince’s Foundation will support us, and we agreed some immediate priorities, which were the permanent bridge and designated footpath; the flood defence scheme; and the need for dedicated place for coach parking. We very much welcome Rory’s continuing support.”img_2482

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