New homes plan for Cartmel will have to get public approval, says councillor

The Westmorland Gazette: Left: Sharon Hodgson of the Home Group and local residents Pat and Charles Rowsell Left: Sharon Hodgson of the Home Group and local residents Pat and Charles Rowsell

PLANS for affordable homes on the edge of Cartmel will need the overwhelming backing of local people to be approved, a councillor has said.

Coun Mary Wilson, who chairs South Lakeland District Council’s planning committee, told The Westmorland Gazette the proposed development of 11 homes at Pit Farm had to be considered ‘an exception’ because it was outside the village development line.

She said it would therefore need the support of the whole parish.

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Plans for the £1.4m development on land at Pit Farm went on show last week at Cartmel Village Hall.

Around 90 villagers attended, said the developer, the not-for-profit housing provider Home Group.

Villagers also have the opportunity to give their views on the development at a meeting arranged by Lower Allithwaite Parish Council at the village hall at 7pm on July 23.

Parish clerk Phil Turner said that a number of parish councillors had attended the consultation, and the council had decided to hold its own meeting before it formed a view on the proposals.

Home Group wants to build four one-bedroom flats, four two-bedroom houses and three three-bedroom houses for rent to local families who cannot afford to get onto the property ladder.

It says that figures from the National Housing Federation show that average property prices in South Lakeland are £227,165, but to buy an average home in the area with an 80 per cent mortgage would require an income of £51,923, and average salaries are £18,554.

Gail Staton, Home Group project manager, said: “A few residents had heard we were planning to build blocks of flats but they were reassured to see the plans which show we’re mainly building houses, and the four flats we are building will have the appearance of houses.

“We spoke to a number of families who live in the village and simply can’t afford to buy their own home.”

Home Group will consider the feedback before submitting its plans to the district council.

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