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Sunday, 31 August 2014

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Whitehaven housing plans due to be debated

Plans for 80 new homes for Whitehaven are set to be debated next week.

Copeland councillors are expected to give the green light to an application for 22 homes on the former Hensingham infant school site and 17 flats for young people in the town centre’s YMCA building.

Members of the planning panel are also likely to decide to visit the former Rhodia office site at Kells, which is earmarked for a 40-house estate by Carlisle-based Story Homes, before making a decision.

The 1.8 hectare site was previously occupied by offices serving the Marchon Chemical Works.

These offices have now been demolished and the site cleared.

Councillor George Clements, Copeland’s portfolio holder for housing and planning, said that Story Homes application was “exciting news” for south Whitehaven.

The scheme is the latest in a long line of developments that the company, headed by businessman Fred Story, has applied for and Mr Clements said that people in the area are already enquiring about the possibility of buying one of the homes.

“We do need more houses in Whitehaven,” said Mr Clements. “We did a survey last year and we certainly need more affordable properties.

“Everybody seems to be happy with the work that Fred Story has already done in south Whitehaven – he is transforming the Woodhouse estate.”

The scheme put forward by Impact Housing, in association with the Howgill Family Centre, would see the Grade II-listed YMCA building in the town centre partly demolished to make way for the Whitehaven Foyer scheme. Beside 17 flats, there would be meeting and training rooms, a reception area and office.

The aim is to turn the Irish Street building into a centre providing accommodation, job training and support for 17 to 23-year-olds.

Plans for 22 houses to be built on land once occupied by Hensingham infant school have been put forward by building and joinery contractors WR Richardson Ltd, of Winder, Frizington.

Latterly the building was Cumbria County Council’s Melbreak House, before standing empty and eventually being demolished earlier this year.

Six letters of objection have been received from people living on Winston Drive – one signed by 17 residents.

They have concerns about a creating a new access onto their housing estate as the junction is “narrow” and often congested. They also state that the development will lead to an increase in traffic and have an impact on their property prices.

Members of the planning panel will meet on Wednesday to discuss all three applications.

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