A MAJOR housing developer has moved forward with its plans to build 26 new homes on the site of the former Romar factory in Hensingham.

Gleeson Homes, which specialises in building affordable properties, is seeking planning permission from Copeland Council to build 26 homes on the site of the now demolished factory near Whitehaven.

The site was flattened in 2017 after workwear and PPE manufacturer Romar Innovate Ltd downsized to a new location in Cleator Moor, following the end of its contract with Sellafield.

Outline planning permission was given in 2017 for up to 29 houses to be built on the land, known as Ivy Mill, on Main Street.

Now developer Gleeson Homes, which works across the north of England and the Midlands, is hoping to build 26 new family homes on the land.

They will be a mixture of two, three and four bedroom semi detached and detached houses, should the plans be approved by Copeland Council.

Gleeson focuses solely on building low cost homes for individuals on low incomes.

The developer estimates that 80 per cent of those purchasing the new Hensingham homes would be first time buyers, if permission is given to build them.

The housing developer also calculates that the total spend on labour, goods and services in constructing the homes would be be £2.2m.

Gleeson's proposal in Hensingham is timely; just days ago a study carried out on behalf of Copeland Council was published which concluded that more affordable housing is needed in the borough.

The research, carried out by Cobweb Consulting, found that 46 per cent of new households could not afford to buy an averagely-priced home in Copeland without spending more than a third of their total income on a mortgage.