WORK has begun on a multi-million pound scheme to build social housing on the site of Kendal’s former auction mart.

Cattle sheds and auction buildings are to be replaced with family homes, gardens, driveways and flats.

Demolition has started at the Appleby Road site following the mart’s move to a new location close to the M6 motorway.

The old mart is now being cleared to make way for 94 new homes, half of which are being built by social housing provider Home Group at a cost of £4.95m.

Home Group is working with developer Time and Tide, which will sell the remainder of the homes on the private market.

The social properties will all be made available to people on local waiting lists in need of rental homes – the scheme is believed to be one of the largest of its type in South Lakeland.

Gail Staton, Home Group project manager, said: “We’re very excited to be involved in developing a site which is at the very heart of Kendal.

“Being able to deliver 47 homes for local people in need will make a real difference to those people on housing waiting lists.

“Developing on a brown field site which is so close to a town centre will be a real bonus for the families who live in these homes.”

Home Group will build 12 two bedroom houses, 25 three bedroom houses and 10 two bedroom flats.

Demolition is expected to be completed around April with the first customers hopefully moving into their new homes some six months later.