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Friday, 25 July 2014

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Brigham housing scheme set to be rejected

Controversial plans for a housing scheme look set to be kicked out amid fears a village is getting too big.

The outline plans for 16 houses and bungalows at School Brow in Brigham, near Cockermouth, are being recommended for refusal.

The application from the Fitz Estate, for the site which lies just 150 metres from St Bridget’s School, has prompted 48 letters of objection.

It is the fourth major residential application received for Brigham in the last 15 months. If approved, it would lead to the number of homes in the village increasing by almost a third – 29 per cent.

Experts do not believe any further growth should be allowed until Allerdale Council’s next local plan – a blueprint for what can be built and where – is drawn up.

Objections include the cumulative impact from the other developments, highways safety because of congestion in the area at peak times, drainage problems, loss of landscape and the impact on ecology.

It is understood the nearby school cannot expand to cope with the village’s proposals housing developments.

As part of its application, Fitz Estate has agreed to make a £36,153 financial contribution towards school improvement costs and/or transportation so children can access other schools if the local one is full.

Planning officers were also concerned that issues raised about drainage problems have yet to be fully addressed. The proposal may also be ‘premature’ ahead of consideration under the emerging Local Plan.

Their recommendation for refusal centres on the cumulative effect of all the plans on the table.

Their report states: “There is concern that the number of approved and pending applications for residential development in Brigham (and the yield of these sites) is both prejudging and pre-empting decisions that should be taken through the local plan site allocations process.

“It is therefore considered that in view of the incomplete Local Plan site allocation process, approval of this current application would be harmful and premature.

“Prematurity can be seen as a reason for refusal where approval of an application would undermine the development plan process.”

Allerdale council’s development control committee will consider the application on February 25.

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