PREVIOUSLY refused plans for constructing almost 200 homes in Penrith have now received a recommendation for approval after revisions have been made to incorporate more affordable housing.

In May, earlier this year, despite suggestions from planning officers, the Strategic Planning Committee for Westmorland and Furness Council turned down proposals placed forward by Story Homes.

This scheme involves building 194 homes on the land situated between Inglewood Road and Centurion Rise.

Whilst five affordable homes had been added to the original proposals bringing it 29 homes, from 12 per cent to 15 per cent, the application was still ultimately refused.

It was attributed to a deficient supply of affordable housing, ‘falling below council’s target of 30 per cent’, and a lack of provision for community facilities within the site.

At the meeting, councillor Frank Cassidy (Walney Island, Labour) told the committee Story Homes was ‘very profitable’ and added: “The company’s modified affordable housing offer of 15 per cent still falls well below the council target of 30 per cent.

"The ordinary person in the street wants to see more affordable housing being constructed and this committee should reflect that reality.”

While the opportunity for on-site community facilities is limited, the applicant has proposed a contribution of £30,000 towards off-site improvements at Fairhill playing fields.

In a new report submitted for the strategic planning committee, it reads: "Having taken account of the improved offer to 20 per cent affordable housing provision, the provision of £30,000 to play provision and the nil contribution to education provision based on viability evidence for the reasons set out in the previous reports .... it is considered the scheme meets the requirements of the Local Plan and no material planning consideration arise which would support a reason for refusal of the application." 

The rise in affordable housing follows in place of £884,000 previously set aside for secondary education in the area. 

The recommended development permit is limited to a timeframe of three years with specific requirements of a pre-construction road condition survey and plans for carriageway, footways, footpaths, cycleways etc.

The site is 9.3 hectares in size and planning documents propose two access points, one from the south through the existing Centurion Drive development off Salkeld Road and the other directly onto Inglewood Road.

Westmorland and Furness Council’s strategic planning committee will meet at Kendal’s County Hall on July 10 to discuss the proposal.