Exciting plans for a huge housing development, pub and shopping parade have moved a step forward.

Whitehaven Developments revealed last year how it wanted to transform part of the empty Marchon site in Kells, Whitehaven.

The boss of the firm has now confirmed that some of the detailed plans will be announced within the next two months.

Simon Towers, managing director of Whitehaven Development's parent company, NPL Group, previously said that the plan was to build up to 400 homes on part of the land along with a family-friendly pub and parade of shops – including a metro-style supermarket.

The project would bring up to £100m investment to the area.

Speaking this week, Mr Towers said: "We are making progress on the potential residential development at Marchon, working with a national housebuilder, we are undertaking a design and layout exercise to determine what is deliverable.

"We continue to liaise with Copeland Council and hope that within the next two months to be in a position to announce some plans and undertake a consultation exercise within the community."

Remediation specialist Whitehaven Developments acquired the site in 2012.

The firm is having regular meetings with council officers in preparation for a submission.

Whitehaven, particularly the Kells area, is already experiencing a housing boom.

Developer Story Homes is part way through a large-scale 570-home development in the town.

And the southern part of the Marchon site is also earmarked for a new coal mining scheme, with a planning application submitted by West Cumbria Mining – which leases the land off Whitehaven Developments – likely to be determined in the spring.

The Marchon factory closed in 2005 and the final building was demolished to clear the site in 2012.