A PLAN for 84 dwellings on the outskirts of Kendal was voted through unanimously by the planning committee of South Lakeland District Council (SLDC).

The site, south of Underbarrow Road, was subject to a previous planning application which was refused in November 2016. An appeal against the decision was dismissed in February 2018.

It was noted by SLDC that the inspector involved in this appeal felt the proposed development would have become “a noticeable intrusion creating an abrupt urban edge” to Kendal.

However, Oakmere Homes’ revised plan, discussed last Thursday, contained a larger ‘landscape buffer’ along the site’s boundary with the Lake District National Park than before.

Additionally, the majority of the revised development was situated on ‘lower’ ground, reducing landscape and visual impacts.

The planned site, situated on the western edge of Kendal, also included 17 affordable homes - 20 per cent of the total development but less than the 35 per cent stipulated by the council.

However, developments which fall below 35 per cent can still receive approval where there is “clear evidence” 35 per cent would make a development “unviable.”

Cllr Giles Archibald, leader of SLDC, expressed concern about the proportion of affordable housing being offered.

He believed the council had been “very, very clear” that development with less than 35 per cent affordable would not be accepted.

The viability report submitted by the applicant was assessed by property consultants Lambert Smith Hampton, which reported the ‘loss’ of affordable homes was “not unexpected for a site constrained by a moderate to significant level of site-specific abnormal costs.”

The “lower-than-average density of the proposed scheme” was also cited as a factor negatively impacting viability.

The project is also to involve demolition of 18th-century cottage ‘The Ghyll’ and a ‘bank barn’ of a “vernacular type almost unique to Cumbria”. The buildings were described by the conservation officer as of “modest architectural or historic interest.”