A CONTROVERSIAL plan to build 24 homes in a Copeland village has been approved.

Plans involve building 24 dwellings on land at Midtown Farm, Morass Road, Beckermet.

Eight people including those who wished to see the plans thrown out, spoke at a meeting of the Copeland Borough Council planning committee on Wednesday.

Plans to build homes on the farmland were previously rejected due to concerns about an increase in traffic.

However, committee members voted six to two in favour of approving the plans on Wednesday.

It is customary for a planning application to be considered a second time and councillors were in agreement with the planner’s advice to approve the plans after more information emerged from Cumbria County Council on traffic calming measures.

Councillor Michael McVeigh said: "When we put it all together and our officers gave a recommendation, I didn't see anything dramatic enough to go against officers' advice."

Some residents have safety concerns stemming from an increase in traffic for Beckermet. However, Mr McVeigh added that the committee was satisfied child safety would not be an issue.

"I took on board every consideration against it but I did feel the arguments from the highways authority negated those concerns.

Mr McVeigh said: "Safety is a important consideration for us as members."

In order to ensure there is no increased risk of accident due to the development, the Highway Authority requires a contribution of £16,300 towards traffic calming schemes.

Traffic calming schemes will be available to the Highway Authority within Beckermet for the next five years.

In response to concerns about changing the character and appearance of the village, the Highway Authority has suggested a scheme that would allow the village to retain its current appearance without resorting to the use of speed bumps.

The plan is to introduce a gateway feature and a share surface within the village.

A change in surface colour or texture could be used to distinguish between the vehicle running lane and pedestrian walkway. The aim is to give the appearance that the carriageway is narrower leading drivers to slow down.