The sale of Stickle Tarn in the Langdale Pikes, one of several properties being off-loaded by the cuts-hit Lake District National Park Authority, became more complicated yesterday when it was listed as an Asset of Community Value.
The designation gives the local community the right to bid for an asset when it comes up for sale. The community must be given time to find the cash, but unlike in Scotland they have no automatic right to buy.
'This is great news' said local Lib Dem MP Tim Farron, who has spoken out against the land sales.
'I want to thank Jean Birkett and the Langdale Valley Association, Councillor Heidi Halliday and all the local residents who have backed this campaign. I want the National Park to go back to the drawing board on this stupid plan to sell off their assets.'
The site is covered by the Reservoir Act, and it is thought that that big financial undertakings would have to be made by any community group taking over its ownership. Tim Farron has called for the National Park to stump up for any required remedial work before selling the tarn.