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Sunday, 28 December 2014

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English Heritage refuses to back Maryport home protestors

English Heritage has decided not to object to plans for 152 homes in Maryport after asking for extra time from Allerdale council.

The group was given until February 11 to comment on the plans – which have attracted a 2,000-signature petition from the Friends of Deer Park, a group set up to oppose the development.

The Story Homes scheme, on land off Netherhall Road, opened up for a second period of consultation in January after an amendment to the plans.

English Heritage has now decided not to object, saying the site – close to a Roman cemetery of “national importance” – will not cause unacceptable harm to the Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site. Objectors had hoped their request for extra time meant they may object, giving weight to their campaign.

Mike Collins, inspector of ancient monuments with English Heritage, said there were “a small number of issues which needed further clarification”, including the impact on archaeological remains in the development area, on the HWWSS site and on the Maryport conservation area.

He said the Roman cemetery, which was discovered recently, lay outside the site itself in the eastern part of Deer Park Field and was of national significance.

Bill Barnes, of the Friends of Deer Park, said the development was not wanted or needed.

“Allerdale has already received a petition from us with over 2,000 signatures,” he said. “In a town of this size that is a remarkable number and I don’t think they can ignore it.”

A spokeswoman for Story Homes said there had been minor changes to the design of some houses but not to the number or overall layout.

The scheme would see 71 four-bedroom, 58 three-bedroom and 15 two-bedroom houses and eight two-bedroom bungalows built of red sandstone.

The council had received 127 individual objections and two petitions during the first consultation in 2011.

There were also 24 submissions supporting the proposal.

Since the consultation re-opened a further five objections have been received.

Some residents warned that the estate could create traffic chaos on Netherhall Road.

Story Homes’ chief Fred Story has said that he would include traffic safety measures in his plans.

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