TEN new houses are to be built in a cul-de-sac in Kirkby Lonsdale despite strong opposition from neighbours and the town’s civic society.

South Lakeland District Council planners voted unanimously in favour of an application from South Lakes Housing to build the houses on 0.5 hectares of grazing land near Binfold Croft, close to Devil’s Bridge.

The scheme, which will provide six two-bedroom houses, two three-bedroom houses and two two-bedroom bungalows, attracted criticism from neighbours. Planners were told that 24 letters of objection were received.

“Turning this area into a housing estate would transform the character and make it an unattractive sight for the thousands of visitors coming to Devil’s Bridge every year,” said Judith Manifold, who lives just metres from the development boundary.

Ken Humphries, chairman of the Kirkby Lonsdale Civic Society, said the area had been subject of numerous applications in the past, all of which had been refused because of the resulting environmental impact.

“This is a unique, historic and irreplaceable landscape. It is the only space left between the bridge and the town.”

But the district council approved the planning officer’s recommendation for the scheme to be given the green light.