ALMOST 200 more houses are likely to be built in north Carlisle - despite serious concerns about the lack of school places.

Carlisle City Council planning officers are backing Gleeson Homes’ plans for 194 homes in California Road, Kingstown.

Their report acknowledges that schools in the catchment do not have enough room for the extra pupils, yet still recommends that planning permission is given.

Councillors will now have the final say at a meeting of the development control committee on Friday.

If successful, the new estate would be built next to Story Homes’ new Greymoorhill development, where 180 homes are currently under construction.

With other housing schemes also in the pipeline, it has caused serious concerns about education provision for those living in the north of the city.

It has prompted calls for an urgent review of existing places in north Carlisle - and an assessment of whether the new school previously promised for Story Homes’ nearby Crindledyke development is ever likely to go ahead.

Although broadly supportive of the Gleeson Homes development, Conservative city councillor James Bainbridge described the school places situation as “a mess”.

He said: “Kingmoor is at capacity, Houghton has spaces but will have to bear the demand created by other sites such as Tarraby View. Rockcliffe is having to expand.

“This issue really needs resolving before we have a full determination on this application. The planning committee needs an assessment of whether the school at Crindledyke is likely to proceed - as there is some doubt as to whether it will be built at all.”

Two parish councils have also expressed concerns.

Stanwix Rural’s official response said: “The shortage of school places in the north of Carlisle has become untenable.

“The approval of large residential developments has for some time had a measurable, cumulative and negative impact upon the locality.

“The parish council urges that this issue be addressed by the city council as a priority.”

Kingmoor Rural’s response added that despite the Crindledyke estate not being complete, hundreds more homes are being approved in the area - with no new school.

The planning officer’s report accepts this is an issue. It estimates the new 194-home estate would result in the need for 61 school places - 15 infant, 21 junior and 25 secondary.

It says the infants could be accommodated at Kingmoor school, but there are not enough junior places there or at Stanwix. It also states that catchment school Trinity does not have space for the extra secondary pupils.

The developer would therefore have to pay almost £1m as an education contribution to compensate.