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Friday, 18 April 2014

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Protestors’ call to arms as Dearham homes get green light

Dearham villagers held an urgent meeting this week after plans for a new housing development were approved despite hundreds of objections.

More than 300 letters of protest were sent to Allerdale council about the Persimmon Homes plan for 114 houses next to Newlands Park.

About 60 villagers attended the council’s development panel meeting on Tuesday and some left in tears after councillors granted planning permission.

The parish council also opposed the plans and Workington MP Sir Tony Cunningham wrote to the council in support of the objectors.

They feared that the development would create road safety problems and increase flooding.

They said that the £341,600 offered by the developer towards increasing the capacity of Dearham village school or bussing local children to other schools would not cover the cost of building the necessary four classrooms.

Louise Maguire, borough and parish councillor, said she was bitterly disappointed by the decision.

After getting together on Wednesday, protestors raised questions about the fairness of the planning meeting.

In a statement, they said: “We are concerned about several inaccuracies that were given to councillors by the planners and the developers.

“We were not able to correct these inaccuracies at the time because the meeting was in progress and we were under threat of the room being cleared if we interrupted proceedings.”

About 90 people had earlier gathered at The Went, where the housing development is planned, to protest.

Addressing the panel on Tuesday, resident Shirley Tweedie said: “Dearham hasn’t really protested before, especially on this scale.”

The panel discussed the plan for about two and a half hours.

In the end they followed planning officers’ recommendation and approved the plans by eight votes to seven.

After the decision, Sir Tony said: “I’m very disappointed. My concerns were around problems with drainage and the necessity for the development in the first place.

“I share concerns about the potential impact on the school.”

The objectors say they will consider every possible step to get the decision overturned.

l Full report from the planning meeting – Page 5

Have your say

Why is this development any different to other ones which have been passed in the village? Where were these people when the Storey development was passed on the land between brow side and Main Street? Or the development of other areas of the village? Newlands Park itself is a development on which many of these protesters live. Many of these people are not originally from the village, and only live here because that estate was built, so why is this any different? It seems to be a case of "not in my back yard"- its ok to develop other areas, but not ones that directly affect them.

Posted by Martin on 18 June 2013 at 05:45

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