RESIDENTS of Stanwix are concerned about a planned housing development in their area - which they fear could lead to traffic chaos and damage to the environment.

Castles and Coasts have revealed plans for 101 new homes on land to the east of Lansdowne Close, Carlisle.

But member of Carlisle Liberal Democrats, Brian Wernham, has claimed residents were only given five days' notice before a public consultation event on November 17.

The consultation period ended on November 25. Revealing their plans for the development, Castles and Coasts said: "Current plans are for a mixed-tenure, affordable housing scheme to provide 101 new homes for the local community.

"The access point to the allocated site is noted in the Carlisle Local Plan to be provided from the recently developed adjacent site, via Raisbeck Close.

"The final access for the proposed site will be confirmed as part of the planning process and following detailed transport assessments."

But in a newsletter being posted to residents in the area, Carlisle Lib Dems said that the development would lead to more than 500 additional car movements a day.

Mr Wernham told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: "There's two groups of residents affected because there's two roads. You've got the access road where the newer houses are and then you've got all the people on the much more mature Lansdowne Estate."

Mr Wernham thinks the development has been planned in the wrong area.

"We need social housing but it should be A) built on brownfield sites and B) near jobs and transport.

"At the public consultation they claimed it's only a 5 minute walk from the nearest bus stop, but that's as the crow flies.

Mr Wernham said: "It's not a 5 minute walk, it's a 20 minute walk. There's no bus shelters for any buses that come up that way, people are going to have their own cars and just drive everywhere."

The group also has concerns about flooding as they fear rain run-off from the hillock will flood Raisbeck Close and Lansdowne roads.

"This week I have seen them already having to repair drains in Raisbeck Close even though they're only two years old" said Mr Wernham.

David Brown, Castles & Coasts Housing Association’s head of development, said: "CCHA is committed to bringing new, much needed, affordable housing to communities.

"Recent data shows that there are 160 applicants registered on the waiting list for affordable rented homes in the area of Stanwix alone, with over 1,700 applicants for Carlisle as a whole.

"This proposed development would meet less than 40 percent of current demand for affordable rented homes in the immediate area.

"We are also committed to working with local stakeholders, partners and communities, to ensure that we deliver affordable housing in a positive way.

"This commitment includes consulting with residents.

"It is vital that we seek the views of residents and, further to our recent consultation, these views will be taken into account, to inform final designs and any subsequent planning application submission.

"A letter detailing the proposed development and associated community consultation was sent to 535 neighbouring residents on November 11, and a public consultation event was held at Stanwix Community Association on November 17.

"For those unable to attend the event or provide feedback in person, a dedicated area on CCHA’s website was provided, where people could view the proposed scheme and submit feedback via an online survey, at their convenience.

"In addition, residents were given the email address of the planning consultant, so that they could email comments directly to him.

"Finally, the formal planning process offers further opportunities for people to provide feedback on any revised proposals.

"It is correct that approximately 16 affordable homes are situated on land outside the current development allocation.

"Following pre-application discussions with Carlisle City Council, we consider the slight extension from the allocated site boundary to be proportionate in its contribution to the overall mix of dwelling types, sizes and tenures, which help meet identified local housing need and the development of mixed and sustainable communities.

"Once again, this is something the formal planning process will consider."