PLANS for 23 new homes - including three affordable dwellings - on the edge of Whitehaven have been approved despite a number of local objections.

The proposal was for a site to the north of Harras Road, in Harras Park, and the development will include a mix of two and four-bedroom properties.

Residents attended a meeting of Cumberland Council's planning committee on Wednesday (November 8) at the Civic Centre in Carlisle.

Nick Hayhurst, the council's head of planning and place for Copeland, told members that the site covered an area of 1.6 hectares and Whitehaven's boundary had been extended to include the site.

He said that planning permission had previously been granted for nine dwellings on the site in 2019 and a version of the current application was previously refused by the former Copeland Council.

The application was recommended for approval subject to conditions including that three of the properties should be classed as affordable.

A number of objectors spoke against the proposal including local ward councillor and resident Joseph Ghayouba (Bransty, Labour).

He highlighted the fact that a total of 460 new homes were to be built near the site and claimed there was no need for 23 additional properties.

Cllr Ghayouba said there were road safety concerns at Harras Road and the proposed development was at the "worst section" of the route.

He added: "In addition there isn't one single mode of public transport that residents and the community have to show for all these developments that would reduce the volume of traffic in the area.

"Indeed, the Planning Inspectorate when giving a judgement on the 370 home [development] acknowledged that the lack public transport and other sustainable modes of travel in this area is an issue."

He said that the developer had acted in "bad faith" by submitted an unchanged application from the one which was rejected by Copeland Council and added: "This shows a complete and utter disregard for local residents, elected officials and the council as a whole."

Cllr Ghayouba urged the committee to refuse the development because it did not fit in with the development plan and too many new homes would be too much for the local infrastructure. He added: "This will be the straw that breaks the camel's back."

Councillor Roger Dobson (Corby and Hayton, Lib Dems) asked whether the road safety and traffic calming measures would include two chicanes and he was told that was correct.

Councillor Bob Kelly (Millom, Labour) said he thought the latest application was an improvement on the previous one and added: "While I have a lot of sympathy with the people who are objecting to this but we have to accept the proposal."

When the matter was put to the vote seven members were in favour of approval while three voted against it.