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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

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Carlisle planners set to give retirement flats go-ahead

Developer McCarthy & Stone is set to get the go ahead for retirement flats on the site of a former social club in Carlisle.

Waverley Gardens photo
Waverley Gardens in Belah, Carlisle

The company wants to build 42 apartments on what used to be St Augustine’s social club in Waverley Gardens, off Scotland Road.

City councillors were due to consider the planning application last month. But they delayed the decision over concerns there were too many one-bedroom apartments in the plans for 28 one-bedroom and only 14 two-bedroom flats, plus a guest suite.

Councillors felt that most residents would want a two-bed flat, if only to accommodate visiting relatives. They asked McCarthy & Stone to rethink the scheme to include more two-bed flats and more parking.

The company has created four extra parking spaces, taking the total to 28, but is refusing to alter the balance of one and two-bedroom apartments. It says a ratio of two one-bed units for every two-bed is “in line with purchasers’ needs”.

Most occupiers are 78 or older and the vast majority widowed or single.

Planning officers are recommending councillors approve the latest plans when the development control committee meets tomorrow.

Their report says: “The applicant considers that this level of provision is wholly adequate, given the nature of the development and the occupiers.

“While all visitors’ needs cannot be met at busy periods, for example Christmas, alternative accommodation is available in the local area and the use of this would boost the economy.”

The city council received six letters of objections and a 48-signature petition against the scheme, arguing that the scale would overpower neighbouring bungalows.

McCarthy & Stone’s proposal is the second attempt to develop the site.

The Roman Catholic diocesan trustees obtained planning consent for 16 semi-detached homes in 2009. But the downturn in the housing market put off potential developers.

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