PLANS to knock down a former sheltered housing scheme in south Cumbria and build 18 affordable homes have been given the go-ahead.

Westmorland and Furness Council has approved proposals from South Lakes Housing to knock down Yewbarrow Lodge off Main Street in Grange and build 18 affordable properties.

According to planning documents, the proposed development will consist of four two-bedroom houses, three three-bedroom houses and nine apartments (five one-bedroom flats and four two-bedroom properties).

Planning documents say the homes will be affordable and mixed tenure with both shared ownership and rental properties.

Yewbarrow Lodge was initially built in 1832 but was destroyed by bombs in the Second World War. The current building was built by the former South Lakeland District Council in the early 1990s.

Until 2019 the site was used as an extra care scheme however following an internal review of current and future demand at this premises the facility was closed.

It led to anger from residents and relatives as Yewbarrow was the only remaining facility of its kind in Grange.

SLH said at the time the decision to close Yewbarrow Lodge had been made with great reluctance and that a relocation plan was in place to assist each resident.

“I can confirm that we have recently spoken with residents to inform them about the closure of Yewbarrow Lodge," said a statement.

"We fully appreciate that this is very upsetting news. We have not rushed into this or taken the decision lightly.

"The fact is that we have struggled to find new tenants to fill the vacancies for several years and a third of the scheme is now empty.

"We have conducted in-depth market analysis about future demand and have reluctantly reached the conclusion that Yewbarrow Lodge no longer has a long term future as a sheltered scheme."

A design and access statement says the proposed development will bring a ‘vacant brownfield site’ into viable use.

Plans add the proposed housing scheme will boost the provision of affordable homes in the area and will achieve a biodiversity net gain across the site.

Planning documents say: “The overall design aspirations have been to provide a high-quality living accommodation, a good quality public realm and a distinctive but responsive architectural design, creating an attractive, safe and secure environment.”

The proposed development contains 49 parking spaces according to the design and access statement.

It is proposed there will also be cycle storage space for 18 bikes in the basement of the apartment block and in each house there will be designated space for two bikes.

In March 2023 the former South Lakeland District Council approved proposals to grant £510,000 in funding for the demolition of Yewbarrow Lodge and to prepare the site for redevelopment.

The application was approved by Westmorland and Furness Council on July 5.