PLANS for 29 dwellings in a village near Kendal have been given the green light despite the protests of furious residents.

The would-be development at Natland was condemned as 'brutal, dense and arrogant' by one member of the public as concerns were raised over traffic and a lack of amenities in the village.

However, Thursday's meeting of South Lakeland District Council's planning committee heard the site, which sits adjacent to Sedgwick Road, was one that had previously been allocated for housing development.

"If we turn this down, there will be an appeal, and I imagine the appeal will fall in favour of the developer," said Cllr John Holmes.

The development is to comprise entirely of two-storey homes, with 10 of them being affordable. Eighty-three parking spaces are to be provide at the site.

Paul Want was one of the members of the public who appealed to the committee to reject the proposal at the meeting.

"Why do the [planning] reports not mention accessing Westmorland General Hospital, the nearest supermarket, doctor's surgery, post office or the leisure centre?" he said.

"Why do they not mention traffic chaos at St Mark's School at drop-off and pick-up times?"

He accused authors of the planning reports of using 'Google to compose their reports without obtaining real facts'.

Ian Brodie said the greenfield plot on which the homes would be built was a 'prime nesting site' for birds and was used for hunting by bats. He expressed concern about the impact construction would have on the animals - although it is planned that 'ecological enhancements' such as nesting boxes and newly planted trees will be introduced at the new development to achieve a 'net gain in biodiversity'.

Mr Brodie said approval of the scheme 'would set a very poor standard for future development proposals'.

Planning committee member Cllr Giles Archibald also expressed reservations about the ecological side of the plan, submitted by Jones Homes.

"The idea that planting 43 trees and bird boxes and bat boxes gives sufficient biodiversity gain - I'm not sure that that's necessarily true," he said.

"It somewhat depends on the level of maturity of the trees."