Plans for a major new healthcare hub proposed for the south of Carlisle have been approved.

Planning permission has been granted for what has been titled the "South Carlisle Healthcare Hub", sited on Locke Road just off Eastern Way.

The hub, which if built will be four stories high and have capacity to treat up to 35,000 patients. is set to become home to GP services, community and mental health facilities, diabetes and respiratory clinics and specialist physiotherapy services.

The healthcare hub will also be home to a pharmacy.

Parking space for 160 cars, eight motorcycles and 26 bicycles will also be constructed.

The closest bus stop, for the 61 service, is 450 metres away on Pennine Way, with the 76 service stopping 900 metres away on Holywell Crescent.

Cumbria County Council's Highways Authority has stated that "realistically the costs of providing a bus service closer to the site would be too high to justify for the limited usage", though it acknowledged changes in demand may in "future years" prompt the introduction of a bus service closer by, should it be deemed commercially viable.

United Healthcare Developments had submitted the now approved plans on behalf of Carlisle Healthcare, which runs the North Carlisle Medical Practice, as well as St Paul's Medical Centre, Brunswick House, Arnside House and the Eastern Way Surgery.

Chris Proctor-Smith, operations director at United Healthcare Developments, said the group has been working with and supporting Carlisle Healthcare since 2015 in their bid to secure NHS England funding for a new healthcare hub for the city.

"The South Carlisle Healthcare Hub will modernise and transform care, providing more accessible and extended services, to improve the health and wellbeing of patients and communities in South Carlisle, as well as enabling the practice to work more efficiently to be better able to keep up with the ever-increasing demand for services," he said.

Carlisle Healthcare's goal to build a new purpose-built healthcare hub has been supported by the North Cumbria NHS Clinical Commissioning Group.

A spokeswoman for the CCG has previously said: “We are supporting Carlisle Healthcare in their bid to develop this new purpose-built hub.

“We are keen to support this opportunity to improve the experience for patients and the team at Carlisle Healthcare.”