Wednesday, 25 November 2015

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Traffic and wildlife fears as another Workington housing scheme unveiled

Nearly 300 more homes could be built as a potential building boom for Workington continues to gather pace.

The proposed site
The proposed site

Talks have started about the prospects of transforming a patch of disused land off Ashfield Road South into a major housing scheme.

The Allerdale Investment Partnership (AIP) is behind the plans for the 290 homes and hopes to get approval before selling the site on to a developer.

But concerns have already emerged about the impact that such a major project could have on roads in the area and what the knock-on could be for wildlife.

The site of the latest scheme is just a stone’s throw from another potentially significant development, with Story Homes exploring the possibility of 350 homes for land at Stoneyheugh on the outskirts of town.

A public consultation on the Ashfield Road South proposals has already been held.

Councillor Denis Robertson, who lives on Newlands Lane South, said: “I am totally against this proposal. I don’t think that road can cope with any more traffic. My other objection is this is green belt land. If this goes ahead where else are they going to build houses?”

Councillor John Bracken said: “This is a very busy road used by heavy lorries and wagons. They are driving along here day and night.

“If there are 290 homes going up this means there will be at least 400 cars coming off that site. There are going to be serious problems.”

The investment partnership, a joint venture between Allerdale council and the Lucent Strategic Land Fund, hope to lodge an outline planning application next month.

Proposals showed that a portion of the housing would be affordable – at least 20 per cent in line with local planning policy.

There would be two access points off Ashfield Road South and new pavements and bus stops would be put in.

Funding would also be put forward from the developer towards infrastructure.

David Young, 58, of Ellerbeck Lane, said: “I’m concerned about the wildlife and the fact trees will have to be removed for this proposal. We have a lot of red squirrels up here and this is going to disrupt their habitat. There are also problems with drainage in that area.”

Elizabeth Armstrong, 82, of Crosthwaite Court, said: “I have no objections except from the amount of traffic that this is going to create.

“It is a busy road used by a lot of heavy vehicles and there is nothing in to reduce drivers’ speeds at the moment.”

Councillor Mike Heaslip said he would be looking to see whether the outline plans addressed problems with drainage on the site and had a scheme to protect the wildlife corridor.

Proposals show that AIP has been in talks with Cumbria County Council to include some of the county council’s land near Ellerbeck Close.

It was not known how many construction jobs would be created.

The site, which was owned by the council before being transferred to AIP, was allocated for housing back in 1999 as part of the Allerdale Local Plan.

It has lain empty during that time, but now the opportunity has arisen, due to the creation of AIP, to explore its development potential.

Have your say

I, for one, am looking forward to hearing more about the proposal. I don't see what the big problems are - more houses, road widened to make it safer don't sound like a problem.

The people I know on Ellerbeck Lane are more concerned about losing their view otherwise they're not overly fussed.

Posted by J Smith on 3 January 2015 at 17:51

It will not matter how much the people are affected and I will be one, the planners will take no notice whatsoever. It is time the council used up all the brown field sites and build social houses.Who are going to buy all these houses being built all over Allerdale? the time will come when a lot of them will not have any buyers.It is a wonder some councillor has not mentioned the 20,000 jobs coming to Sellafield!

Posted by Sadmanonabus on 20 August 2014 at 15:32

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