THE Lake District National Park authority is facing an unprecedented vote of “no confidence” over controversial plans for a Tarmac path in the heart of the Cumbrian fells.

The authority tasked with looking after one of the most beautiful corners of England has agreed to a four-mile track in the shadow of Blencathra in a move that has been described by objectors as an “act of landscape vandalism”.

The £7.9m Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Path Reinstatement has provoked a public outcry, sparking an extraordinary general meeting of Keswick Town Council due to be held on Thursday (October 10).

Responding to the concerns, a spokeswoman for the authority said it was “extremely disappointed” by the town council’s decision and stressed that the public had been given their say on the plans.

But councillors determined to force a re-think have accused the body of disregarding the opinions of the majority and of eroding public trust in the organisation.

Members of the town council will discuss whether to submit what is thought to be first ever vote of no confidence in the authority at this week’s meeting.

Town Councillors met with representatives of the LDNP on October 2 to express their concerns.

Following the discussions, members accused the organisation of “complete intransigence” and of ignoring the “overwhelming view” of local people, visitors and the wider community.

The council said the LDNP was putting the cyclists’ desire to ride “at speed” ahead of other considerations as well as imposing an “urban solution” on a rural area.

Objectors are urging the authority to bow to public pressure and to consider alternative measures in a bid to “restore faith” in the authority, which they say is being “eroded”.

Tony Lywood, town and county councillor pledged to issue a similar statement to the board on October 16.

Mr Lywood, who is also Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Copeland, said: “It appears that a well-entrenched bunker mentality is now developing within the LDNP which is unhelpful.

“The people should be heard from and not dictated to by a largely unelected body based in Kendal whose agenda is not necessarily ours.”

The councillor, who himself sits on the LDNP, said the views of the authority were “completely at odds” with those of most people.

“This is the Lake District National Park not the Lake District theme park and what is proposed is an act of landscape vandalism,” he added.

Mr Lywood described the authority’s move as “extremely worrying” amid claims decisions such as this one may ultimately damage the Lake District’s coveted World Heritage Status.

The re-surfacing plans emerged in response to the floods in December 2015 which caused extensive damage, sweeping away two bridges that cross the River Greta.

A spokeswoman for the LDNP said research had been followed by detailed design, consent and planning permission procedures.

She said the public had been given a “a range of opportunities” to have their say on “needs and preferences” for the scheme.

She added: “We held local design drop-in sessions and received over 2,500 responses on the future use of the trail.

“The new surface meets such needs, adds resilience to future flooding; being durable and incurring lower maintenance costs than unbound surfaces.

“Tarmac suitability in this location in a national park was part of the determination consideration for the planning permission.

“While the trail does run through a rural landscape, the route followed is man-made, with a clear transport related history; being an old railway line.

“Therefore, the use of a Tarmac surface was considered appropriate and the project was given planning permission.”