All posts by John Keegan

Planning Application – Holiday Lodges

A Planning Applications – 17/01166/FUL was lodged in September with Lancaster City Council Planning Department.  It is in respect of seven Holiday Lodges on land off Hosticle Lane, Whittington.  There are links below to key documents and the Application Summary can be viewed at: Planning Application Summary. Please note that all links in this post are in PDF format.

Some of the detail is as follows:

2.1. The site is located to the south of Kirkby Lonsdale and to the north west of Whittington, close to the boundary of Lancaster City Council’ s area with South Lakeland.
2.2. The site itself is to the west of Sellet Hall and an existing access
on Hosticle Lane opposite Sellet Hall goes through trees, around a pond and then leads on to the site.
2.3. The track originally provided access to a number of chicken sheds which lie to the south of the application site, which have been taken down some time ago, but the groundworks that accommodated them are still evident on the site.
2.4. A pre-application enquiry was made to Lancaster City Council for the siting of a number of lodges on the site of the chicken sheds and some
on the opposite side of the field to the east. While recognising to some extent that the site was previously developed land it was considered to be exposed in the landscape and a second round of pre-application advice that took place with the Council suggested that the field to the north of the site may be preferable in landscape terms, it being less exposed and set between trees and high ground.
2.5. In terms of the access, because of the poor nature of the existing access from Hosticle Lane, a new access point is proposed off Saddler Nook Lane that bounds the north of the site. From here a track will access in total 7 lodges that have been carefully sited to avoid the tree canopy of surrounding mature trees on the advice of the  Arboriculturalist.
2.6. The lodges are effectively caravans and would be delivered to the site in two sections. They are of a contemporary design, as can be seen from the submitted plans, and would be finished in a grey metal roof with a cedar cladding. There are considerable elements of glazing to provide a crisp, modern design.

The detailed “Planning Statement” can be viewed at: Planning Statement

Site Layout Plan

There are three individual plans forming the Application.  These are: Site Layout Plan 1, – Site Layout Plan 2 – Site Layout Plan 3.

Application Documents
 The current documents forming the Application are at: Document Search Results.
John Keegan

Parish Council Budgets

At this time of year a number of Local Government organisations make a point of reminding Councils, including Parish Councils, that they are obliged to begin their budgeting process in order to present their precept requirements.

NALC, the National Association of Local Councils, provide the following pertinent advice:


  1. The authority needs to prepare and approve a budget in a timely manner before setting a precept prior to the commencement of the financial year. It needs to monitor actual performance against its budget during the year, taking corrective action where necessary. A financial appraisal needs to be undertaken before the authority commences any significant project or enters into any long term commitments.
  2. The budget has three main purposes:
    1. it results in the authority setting the precept for the year.
    2. subject to the authorities Financial Regulations, it gives the Clerk overall authority to make spending commitments in accordance with the plans approved by members; and
    3. it provides a basis for monitoring progress during the year by comparing actual spending against planned spending.
  3. The key stages in the budgeting process are:
    1. decide the form and level of detail of the budget;
    2. review the current year budget and spending;
    3. determine the cost of spending plans;
    4. assess levels of income;
    5. bring together spending and income plans;
    6. provide for contingencies and consider the need for reserves;
    7. approve the budget;
    8. confirm the precept or rates and special levies; and
    9. review progress against the budget regularly throughout the year.

What Whittington needs

In order for our PC to decide how much money they need next year they have to determine how they are going to spend their income.

Income: In addition to the precept the PC normally receive a further £250.00 in shooting and grazing rights. This provides in the order of £4,245, at the 2016-17 level of precept.  In fact our PC has recently received an additional £450.00 from the Parish Champion, which I assume is committed to the acquisition of a SpID, although the Council has not yet authorised expenditure in this connection.

Expenditure: Each year the PC have traditionally made certain donations. Typical these donations have amounted to something in the order of £390.00, to the WI, British Legion, Wagtail Playgroup & Toddlers, NW Air Ambulance and Wagtail.

In addition there are cost which occur simply to run the PC such as Clerks Salary, NI and expenses, Insurance and the cost of Internal Audit.  These costs amount to about £1,880.

A further series of costs relate to maintaining the Village Hall Strimmer, and any maintenance expenditure such as painting sight railings, village benches and so on.  This of course is a variable sum, depending on what the PC has budgeted for.

Expenditure Parishioners ask for:  I may well be wrong in saying that the only suggestions that the PC has actually funded has been the request for a donation to B4RN a couple of years or so ago, and pressure from Gerald Hodgson through his Wagtail articles about the state of the village benches.  But maybe the PC are currently considering spending some money on an SpID, although they have made a commitment not to do so until they receive the support of Whittington Villagers (bearing in mind that an SpID would be of no benefit to the remainder of the Parish).

The way forward:  At this time I believe that the PC should be canvassing the views of Parishioners in order that they are cognisant of the views of their electorate, as to where expenditure is desirable.

Please, oh please, use this Blog to let your views be known, otherwise the Village will continue to stagnate.

John Keegan

Lancashire Fire & Rescue

Lancashire Fire & Rescue have carried out their periodic Emergency Cover Revue.  A copy was forwarded to our Parish Council, for consideration at their September meeting.

The Minutes of that meeting are not yet available.  Therefore we have no indication as to their deliberations.

However LFRS are asking for you views as well:

I have attached a copy of the document, in PDF format, for any of you who would like to have a more detailed look at what you will get for your Council Tax contributions to LFRS. Lancashire Fire & Rescue Leaflet

John Keegan

Lancaster Guardian


The Lancaster Guardian is also carrying the story about the creation of the Lune Bus Action Group, even using the same stock photo.  It’s rewarding to see the press picking up the groundswell of support for our activity. (Guardian Article)

The text of the article is as follows:

A new campaign group has been set up to try and improve services for bus users in the Lune Valley.

The Lune Bus Action Group has been created to look at how to reinstate evening bus services to villages such as Whittington, Wray and Arkholme.

The group, set up by Duncan Foster and John Keegan – is hoping to provide evidence that residents and businesses in the Lune Valley between Lancaster and Kirkby Lonsdale can sustain a more regular bus service.

Last month, Lancashire County Council agreed to inject an extra £1m into bus services, taking the total county budget to £3m.

But members of the Lancaster District Bus Users Group expressed their disappointment that so little had been allocated to the Lancaster area.

The county council said it would work with bus operators to use the funding available to try to develop a sustainable option to restore a daytime service link for Gressingham, Arkholme and Whittington and the Lune Valley as a whole using the Service 81.

The council said it would continue to consider evening and Sunday services, perhaps in partnership with local authorities and other stakeholders.

Mr Keegan, from the Lune Valley Bus Action Group said: “Duncan Foster and I have been campaigning for a bus service down the North bank of the River Lune since all services were cancelled in April 2016.

“We have to accept that Lancashire are not going to consider evening and Sunday provision as they have said ‘With the level of budget available it is proposed to retain a focus on Monday to Saturday daytime service provision and develop proposals to provide sustainable services that also prioritise employment, education and social needs’.

“At this time it is not clear what County will have in mind (for weekend and evening services), but if we are to ever re-introduce, say the Friday and Saturday evening services, which were so well supported by passengers visiting Kirkby and/or Lancaster, then clearly we will need to provide some evidence that the need is recognised by publicans, restaurateurs and businesses in and around Kirkby.”

Anyone who would like to be on our Action Group mailing list please email us at:

John Keegan