CONTROVERSIAL plans for almost 200 homes north of Carlisle have been approved by councillors - despite fears about primary and secondary school provision in the area.

Members of Carlisle City Council’s development control committee met in Carlisle yesterday to discuss the application for 194 new homes on land north of California Road in Kingstown.

Among those raising concerns was councillor for Denton Holme and Morton South, Lisa Brown. She said: “By what has been suggested about the housing in that location, the school issue has to be integral.”

Councillor for Stanwix and Houghton, Paul Nedved also pointed to the fact schools such as Stanwix School were at close to breaking point. The city council’s development management manager, Chris Hardman, insisted money raised from the application would be used to fund the need for more education places.

Cllr Nedved also questioned whether - with an ever growing population - the development should include more bungalows.

Planning officer at Carlisle City Council, Stephen Daniel replied: “They don’t have have a model for bungalows. Their issue is the costs. They would have to raise the prices of all the houses on the site.”

Cllr Brown was also worried about the lack of movement in building a new school for the north of the city. The application was approved subject to the following conditions:

• Twenty per cent of the homes are affordable;

• A £64,398 contribution is made for the provision and maintenance of off-site open space;

• Funding of £33,138 to support the off-site improvement of existing sports pitches;

• The informal open space within the site is maintained;

• A funding contribution of £951,386 is made to Cumbria County Council towards education provision;

• Funding of £282,000 to improve pedestrian and cycle networks;

• Travel Plan Monitoring fee of £6,600 is paid.

A statement from developers Gleeson Homes said: “We are proud to be providing 194 affordable homes in a fantastic location in the city. Furthermore we’re proud this development can help fund much needed school places in north Carlisle.”