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Sunday, 21 December 2014

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Plans for new Wetheral homes approved at third attempt

Plans to build six new homes in Wetheral have finally been approved – at the third attempt.

Wetheral Magnuse Homes graphic
An artist’s impression of the new homes

Angry residents formed a 70-strong protest group against the original plans for the development, near Carlisle, on land behind Lime House.

Twice they contested the proposals and won, despite planners recommending the scheme for approval on each occasion, but Magnus Homes has now finally been granted permission.

The developer had submitted a revised planning application, with designs more in-keeping with existing buildings, after the last plan was rejected by members of Carlisle City Council’s Development Control Committee in June.

Lime House is already being converted into nine luxury flats and the developer is hoping to build the new homes on a former car park at the back.

John Askew, speaking on behalf of the Save Wetheral Village group, said the third version of the proposals had addressed design issues, but claimed the site would still be overdeveloped.

He added: “There are still too many houses being proposed – there should be no more than four houses permitted.”

Bob Taylor, the applicant’s agent, said the proposals included four detached homes and a pair of semi-detached properties.

“It is a secluded site with no glimpses from the village green,” he said.

Mr Taylor added that the development would create around 20 local jobs. Lime House had previously been used as offices, which had resulted in a significant number of vehicle movements.

Members were told the developer had proposed that the entrance and exit to the sites could be widened but it would be a tight squeeze for larger vehicles – such as fire appliances – gaining access.

Councillor Willie Whalen accepted there had been some movement from the developer to alleviate members’ concerns, but added: “My greatest worry is the access to the property and the one way system. Our responsibility is that it is safe.”

Councillor Barry Earp said there were concerns over waste collection, the density of the development and traffic issues.

He added that passing places should be incorporated into the road layout.

Councillor Ray Bloxham said that Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service had recommended sprinklers and hydrants to be installed at the site and they had “come a long way” with the application.

He added: “I think the developer has complied with a lot of what we wanted to do.

“I am not sure there is a lot we can do unless we start pulling down parts of Lime House.”

Members voted in favour of granting planning approval but Mr Whalen wanted his opposition recorded because of safety concerns over access for emergency vehicles.

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