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Saturday, 02 August 2014

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Wetheral apartments plan could be passed despite 80 objections

Modified plans to build apartments in Wetheral could be passed this week despite more than 80 objections from locals.

Skelton House photo
The site of former Skelton House at Wetheral

Citadel Estates won planning permission in 2012 to build 15 apartments on the site of 200-year-old Skelton House, which has been demolished.

It tweaked the proposals last year, increasing the size of the block and adding a fourth storey, although the scheme was still for 15 apartments.

There was an outcry from nearby residents who formed the Save Wetheral Village group, prompting Carlisle city councillors to refuse planning consent and issue a stop notice to halt work.

Citadel lodged an appeal and simultaneously tabled another third set of modified plans, still for 15 apartments, this time over three floors.

These have brought 84 objections but look set to be approved when the development control committee meets on Friday.

The planning officers’ report says that any differences from the scheme approved in 2012 are “marginal”.

It adds: “The proposal is acceptable and would not have a detrimental impact on the character of the consideration area.”

The objectors, however, hope councillors will overrule planners’ advice, just as they did with Citadel’s last application.

They argue that the new proposal is 27 per cent larger than the 2012 scheme and is not in keeping with the scale and character of the village.

Wetheral parish council agrees.

David and Doreen Stephenson, who live next door to the development, say their home will be overlooked.

Their letter of objection accuses Citadel of “taunting the residents of Wetheral” with its latest proposal.

Another objector, Peter Holland, wrote: “We have all seen the effect of this developer’s monstrous building upon the village of Warwick Bridge, which dwarfs the adjacent cottages and dominates its surroundings.

“Permission to go ahead with this proposal [in Wetheral] has the potential to seriously damage the village environment.”

It is understood that Citadel has ignored the council’s stop notice, which it believes to be unlawful.

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