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Saturday, 19 April 2014

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300 new homes would be 'logical' extension to Carlisle, says council report

Hundreds of new homes are poised to be built on the edge of Carlisle.

The development would provide a huge construction jobs boost for the city if the go-ahead is given for the massive project on the city’s southern fringe.

Carlisle-based Story Homes wants to build 318 homes on a site bounded by Hammonds Pond, Oaklands Drive and Durdar Road.

City councillors are being recommended to approve the scheme on Friday.

If given the go-ahead, the project would further fuel a highly-anticipated building boom which supporters hope will expand the city’s population and boost its economy.

Progress on it is likely to be swift. Depending on the councillors’ ruling this week, Story Homes says it could start work as soon as the spring.

But there are those who want the project kicked-out.

More than 140 people have signed a petition against it, while the council also received 50 letters or emails of objection.

There are concerns about how schools in the area and roads would cope with the extra demands. And a report to councillors includes a claim that the development is “wholly unwanted by the community”.

Summing up the grounds raised by objectors, the report adds that it has been argued that the development would “destroy the village of Blackwell as it would quadruple the housing in the area and blur/co-join Upperby with Blackwell”.

Among the traffic-based objections are concerns that Currock Road, Blackwell Road and Durdar Road could not cope with an increase in traffic.

But recommending approval, the report states: “It is considered to be a logical extension to the city.

“Concerns regarding highway safety can be addressed through the imposition of relevant conditions. Having weighed up the arguments for and against the proposal, it is concluded that any harm is outweighed by the benefits.”

Of the 318 homes planned, 66 are classed as being affordable, with 31 of those available for rent.

Plans show 146 four-bedroom homes, 138 three-bedroom and 34 two-bed. Twenty-two of the homes would be apartments.

Access to the development would be from Blackwell Road and Scalegate Road.

If planning permission is granted, conditions would include Story Homes having to pay £171,000 – plus a £8,500 administration fee – to Cumbria County Council for any schools changes needed in the area.

The firm would also have to pay £185,000 to provide a diversion, reinstate and light two paths at Hammonds Pond, along with other cash contributions including £10,000 for improving the Caldew cycleway.

Story Homes’ other major projects in the Carlisle area include Crindledyke, on the northern edge of the city, where it plans to build 850 homes on over the next 20 years, and 121 homes at Dalston.

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