HOUSING plans for Whitehaven have been refused by councillors due to concerns it would be 'unsustainable' in the proposed location and harmful to the area’s scenery.

A bid submitted by Sunshine Properties for a housing development on land neighbouring Round Close Park was refused on Wednesday.

Members of Copeland’s development panel voted to accept the officer’s recommendation to refuse the application believing the site to be inappropriate.

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The case officer said: “Whilst the development would assist to boost housing supply in Copeland, the location is considered unsustainable with a heavy reliance on the private car due to unsafe and long walking routes to services and limited public transport options.

“The addition of dwellings in this open countryside location is likely to create significant harm on the existing visual and landscape amenity of the area, closing the gap between the developed and undeveloped areas.”

A resident of Round Close Park spoke against the application, raising a number of issues including access and connectivity.

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Mr Walkingshaw said: “Our concern is the junction at Round Close Park with Red Lonning. When you’re turning right into Round Close Park from the Whitehaven direction across the oncoming traffic, your forward visibility is 70 to 80 metres.

"A car travelling 60 miles per hour in the opposite direction will cover that in 2.5 seconds.”

He repeated the advice of authorities on forward visibility when turning right across traffic, stating it should be equal to stopping distance, in this case 215 metres

“The second issue is sustainability. I’ve lived on the road for 11 years and brought up a family, we do our best to cycle and walk where we can but I can only agree with the planner’s assessment that Round Close Park does not meet current standards of sustainability.”

A spokesperson for the applicant said: “The footway part of the proposed development ensures that the housing to be provided is sustainable and is connected to Whitehaven by a continuous surface footpath link.

“It should also be noted that at the entrance to Round Close Park is a bus stop which provides the same level of service places such as Arlecdon and Beckermet rely on.”

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