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Thursday, 24 April 2014

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Dalston residents get first look at plans for 128 homes

This is how part of a major new housing development in north Cumbria could look.

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Planning bid: An impression of the proposed Story Homes development of 128 houses off Station Road, Dalston

Residents caught a glimpse of the vision for 128 homes at Dalston when they went on public display.

Carlisle-based developer Story Homes wants to build the houses on land close to the centre of the village on fields between Station Road and Townhead Road.

But at a consultation display on Saturday, some residents said they fear the plan would make the village too big and generate too much traffic.

Dalston parish council organised the Victory Hall exhibition so people could make their views known.

Townhead Road resident Lavinia Todhunter said: “I have lived here for 20 years and I think the development is too big – that’s my main concern.

“The roads are already really busy as it is, and at the previous council meetings all residents objected.

“If it was half the size it would be more in keeping with Dalston.”

Jack Hetherington has livedin his current house in Dalston for 13 years and he and his wife Esther are unconvinced by the plans.

He said: “We object to it full stop.

“It’s too big for Dalston and it’s going to turn it into a town.

“We are happy with it as it is.”

During the event residents had the chance to record their views in writing and attend an open parish council meeting in future. Story Homes believe that scheme would support 60 jobs while the estate is built, and would be spread over four to five years.

Work is scheduled to start next summer.

Cumbria County Councillor Trevor Allison said: “I’m disappointed to see a development on this scale.

“None of us are experts but I’m pleased to see the parish council have appointed a planning consultant.”

At a public meeting last month Andy Dolby, from Story Homes, said the firm would strive to make the development fit in with the existing character of the village, which he described as a “very attractive place”.

He said: “We want to take a cue from the quality of the environment you have here, so that it will not be a monotonous development.”

They have stressed the plans are not set in stone and they have been looking for input from residents.

Executives said they were confident they could find buyers for the homes, which would be built over four years and that the housing market locally could sustain the sale of the houses.

They have said the development would be close enough to Dalston for people to walk there.

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