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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

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Persimmon drops flats plan after residents protest about 'undesirables'

Residents of a new housing development in Workington have won their fight to stop flats being built there.

Forgehill protest photo
Michael Bell, left, and Geoff Donaldson with names backing concerns over the plans

Some householders at Forgehill Park, off Moss Bay Road, argued that the value of their homes would tumble if the flats were rented out by a social-housing provider, leading to an influx of “undesirable tenants”.

Persimmon Homes has completed more than 40 properties there as part of a scheme for 92 two-, three- and four-bedroom houses approved in 2011.

It wanted to increase the number to 107, including 18 two-bedroom flats.

Eighteen people lodged objections with Allerdale Council while 35 signed a petition against the proposal. They also raised concerns about traffic and parking.

Councillors put off a decision when Persimmon’s planning application came before them last month.

They had intended to visit the site before making up their minds.

But now Persimmon Homes Lancashire has withdrawn the proposal.

Managing director Mark Cook said: “We had submitted an application to increase the number of homes being built to a new total of 107.

“This would have given us a wider range of house types, including apartments for first-time buyers or downsizers, and provided an additional three affordable houses for people on the housing waiting list.

“Given local concerns that the 15 extra homes would have caused inconvenience to existing residents, we have decided the best course of action is to revert back to the original plans for the site, which will enable us to provide 92 homes for local people.”

Michael Bell, of Railbank Drive, set up the petition.

His objection said: “When I paid nearly £200,000 for my property, I did not sign up to these plans and I am really concerned that this will affect the price of my property in the future.”

Another resident, Geoffrey Donaldson, accused Persimmon of “deceiving” home buyers. He wrote: “I find the proposed plans completely unacceptable, and refuse to allow my investment to be jeopardised by the site moving undesirable tenants in.”

And John Waugh, also of Railbank Drive, wrote: “We do not want flats on the estate.”

The development was launched in 2012. Around half of the homes are occupied. Persimmon is currently offering two-bedroom houses from £111,995 up to three-bedroom family homes at £164,995.

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