IT'S CRUNCH time for proposals to build 92 homes at a historic derelict site in Carlisle.

Carlisle City Council’s development panel will meet at the Civic Centre to decide on a number of planning applications today.

Amongst them is Currock Avenue’s bid to build the 92 homes on land at Currock Yard off South Western Terrace.

The high-profile proposal has been recommended for approval but it is a complex site and officers have asked that conditions be placed on the development.

If their plans are approved, Currock Avenue will be bound to a legal agreement, requiring that 18 of the dwellings are affordable and that four bungalows are built.

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Financial contributions must be made to the Carlisle community including £34,511 for upgrades and maintenance of open space at Jubilee Road and £403,024 to Cumbria County Council towards secondary school places.

Currock Yard is a piece rail history, the case officer’s report reveals that, although it is now “unkempt” and derelict, the site was used “between 1870-1900 when its development followed the construction of the Carlisle to Maryport railway line.”

The site was used by British Rail following the railway nationalisation and then DB Schenker following their acquisition of the site in 1996 as a depot.

However, its use has declined rapidly from 1970 onwards and operations finally ceased in 2007 when activities were re-located to Kingmoor Yard.

Buildings were demolished but the pump house remains, planning officers note that despite having been a victim of vandalism and neglect, the pump house retains functional and decorative architectural features of note.”

Although it is recommended for approval, the city council’s heritage officer raised concerns that the pump house could be considered “an undesignated heritage asset” which they believe should be retained and included in the development.

But the developer notes that the buildings are in a “very poor state of repair and that it is an isolated incongruous industrial building.”

The city council has received 54 letters of objection and a petition calling for the application’s refusal, signed by 13 people.

Concerns raised by residents include the increase in traffic on Currock Road and South Western Terrace which has been described as a “tiny cobbled street” which “cannot take the volume of traffic.”

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A previous application for the site was approved in 2011 but the city council disposed of it in 2018 as the Section 106 agreement was never signed.

Plans to use South Western Terrace as the main access to the site are still considered to be acceptable and officers contend that there is ample space.

Residents also fear that the homes could have an overbearing effect on existing homes.

But the case officer’s report reads: “While it is contended that there would be a loss of privacy to existing residents from passing traffic and pedestrians, this is no more than happens with any new development, since every new home owner in every new estate, regardless where it is built, has to drive, cycle or walk past somebody's existing house to get there.”

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