Concerns have been raised over gridlocked traffic as plans for a housing development near two busy secondary schools are lodged.

Gleeson Homes has submitted an application with Copeland Council to build 38 houses on part of the old Sekers factory site at Cleator Moor Road in Whitehaven.

The housing developer has agreed to buy the brownfield land next to The Gables care home, which was built on the site of the former factory following its demolition in 2010.

However, concerns have been raised over traffic congestion during school times and how building work could add to the chaos.

The proposed development is opposite the Whitehaven Academy exit and close to Campus Whitehaven, which houses St Benedict's School and Mayfield School. There are also two primary schools within a mile of the site.

Gleeson Homes said they would be "very careful" with management of construction traffic and would avoid construction deliveries during the morning and afternoon rush to school.

Julie Rayson, who represents the Hillcrest ward on Whitehaven Town Council, said: "I would hope they look at the infrastructure and traffic around the area. It's right opposite the junction to the new school being built there. It's already a bad junction. You're coming up to the roundabout and all the little junctions off there.

"I don't have any issues with homes being built, as long as they look at the infrastructure and the gridlock at school times that's being going on for a long time.

"It's while the building work is going on, it's an absolute nightmare."

Cumbria County councillor Graham Roberts said he was pleased to see a scheme which included affordable homes.

"I think it's a step in the right direction. We need to build plenty of affordable homes in Whitehaven because we've got to see people on the property ladder. It's alright building executive homes but I think affordable homes are the priority."

However, he said that the effect on school traffic would be a concern.

"If we can include it in the Whitehaven Traffic Regulation Order, there is a chance that we can alter the system and improve it. I think it's great from a housing point of view but it's just the traffic we have got to look at."

The scheme includes a mix of two, three and four-bedroom semi-detached and detached houses. Access to the site would be from a new priority controlled junction with Cleator Moor Road. All proposed properties would have a at least two off-street car parking spaces.

A spokesman for Gleeson Homes said: "We’re really looking forward to continuing our investment in West Cumbria. Our site at Florence Drive in Egremont was our first in the region and has been a resounding success.

"The site is right next door to Bookwell Primary School and access is through an existing residential street with many pupils to West Lakes Academy safely walking past our site every day.

"We are very careful with our management of construction traffic and would of course take the same precautions in Whitehaven. We will avoid construction deliveries during the morning and afternoon rush to school.

"We always aim to build on existing brownfield sites as we pride ourselves in remediating brownfield land, regenerating local areas and providing homes where they are truly needed for those who need them the most.

"Following our recent success in gaining planning permission for 26 homes on the old Romar Factory site next door to this site, we have already been overwhelmed with local young people from Hensingham asking when they can reserve their first home with us.

"Eighty-five per cent of our customers are first time buyers and this development will be very popular with those looking to get on the housing ladder, key workers based at West Cumberland hospital and those with children attending the local primary and secondary schools.

"We know from experience our customers will have children now or in the future attending Whitehaven Academy, St Benedict’s and Hensingham Primary School. Their children will be walking across the road or around the corner to attend school rather than been driven or bussed to school.

"We hope to gain planning permission in spring next year and commence development in the summer.”