Controversial plans to build nearly 400 new homes in Whitehaven look set to be given the green light next week.

The proposed development,which would see 370 houses built at Harras Moor, is to go before Copeland’s planning panel on Wednesday.

The scheme, put forward by Homes England, has been criticised by residents of the neighbouring estates.

At a public consultation event held last year, residents cited blocked views, increased traffic, drainage, school places and the effect on wildlife as reasons to reject the plans.

The homes would be built on 23 hectares of land surrounded by the Highlands, Hillcrest and Red Lonning housing estates.

Vehicle access would be via Harras Road and Caldbeck Road, with pedestrian access at the Loop Road South, the Highlands estate, and the highways to the east and west.

Officers have advised the planning panel to approve the application, with conditions that include 15 per cent of the homes being affordable and having seven hectares of public open space.

Copeland Council has received 45 written objections to the scheme from members of the public.

Some of the objections include the “excessive” and “overly intensive” scale of the development and the additional pressure that would be on public services.

Concerns have also been raised over the flood risk due to surface water, and the “substandard” highway network.

Whitehaven Town Council has objected to the plans, on behalf of residents who have raised concerns over flooding, drainage and access.

Graham Roberts who represents the Harras ward on the town council,has spoken out against the scheme.

He said: “The total idea of building all those houses with the access they have got is totally ridiculous. It just makes a nonsense of the whole thing. From a health and safety point of view, it’s absolutely ridiculous.

“There has been little consultation about access up there. It just beggars belief, I can’t understand it. I think the whole idea is fool-hardy until access is sorted out.”