A controversial bid to slash the affordable housing on a planned 290-home development has been given the green light – prompting claims that the community is being short-changed.

Allerdale Investment Partnership originally received approval for the plans, at Ashfield Road South, Workington, in 2015, with 20 per cent of the homes delivered required to be affordable as part of the planning conditions.

However, AIP, which is a joint venture between Allerdale council and Lucent Allerdale Partnership SARL, then asked to provide only 15 per cent of affordable housing.

The changes were approved yesterday by Allerdale council's development panel, with councillors voting 8-4 in favour of the plans.

The vote came after a behind-closed-doors of AIP's financial viability assessment.

It comes just weeks after council leader Alan Smith called for a review of housing and affordability after concerns were raised by a scrutiny committee.

Councillor Stephen Stoddart, who represents the area on the district and town council, was critical of the decision after the meeting and said he was disappointed.

He added: "I just feel that the AIP is short-changing the residents of Moorclose.

"I feel it is a bad investment deal for West Cumbria and Moorclose is going to suffer.

"We need more help and investment in Moorclose, not less."

Chris Bagshaw, who spoke as town clerk on behalf of Workington Town Council at the meeting, asked for a play area to be made a priority as part of the development.

He added: "The size and scale of this scheme means that we have to get things right first time."

Councillors also agreed to reduce the education contribution from £447,671 to £60,255.

This is a reduction from a contribution for 13 primary school pupils and 16 secondary school pupils to five primary school pupils.

The county council, which has agreed the figures, said the needs were reassessed.

Last month, Allerdale council's executive discussed a report from its scrutiny committee and highlighted issues around affordability of homes in the area.

Celia Tibble, chairman of the community scrutiny youth unemployment sub-committee, said at the meeting: "The biggest shock we got is what is an affordable house to buy for young couples.

"Even those who have employment would struggle to afford a house costing more than £63,000 and that is if they have managed to save a hefty deposit."

Alan Smith, leader of the council, asked the scrutiny committee to do a separate report on housing and affordability.

The land earmarked for the development was transferred last year to Moorclose Community Centre by the county council.

The centre then sold the land to the AIP for £201,000.