Appeal fails but new Cockermouth homes still on cards
Last updated at 12:25, Friday, 21 September 2012
A last-ditch bid to build 24 homes off Lorton Road in Cockermouth has been thrown out by inspectors.
Rockford Holdings’ plan to build a housing estate and improve sports facilities near Cockermouth Rugby Club had been rejected by Allerdale council’s development panel in February, because it contained no affordable housing.
The company launched an appeal but the council decision was upheld on Friday.
Darren Ward, of Red Raven Designs, agent for the firm, said another planning application would now be submitted to include a small number of affordable homes.
Mr Ward argued in the appeal that the high cost of improvements to the community sports facility made it unviable to provide affordable housing.
However, a government inspector upheld Allerdale council’s position that a proportion of new housing must include some affordable properties.
Mr Ward said: “The inflexibility of planning policy has added further cost and delay to a scheme that would have delivered substantial improvements to a community sports facility as well as providing 24 new two, three and four bedroom houses on brown field land.
“Whilst we are disappointed that this scheme is delayed yet again, we are pleased that the most recent appeal verifies that housing is acceptable on this site.
“It confirms that the proposed design and layout is also acceptable if a proportion of the housing is available as affordable units.”
The plan includes relocation of three existing tennis courts to land next to the club house and an additional mini court for under-13s.
Other improvements to sports facilities would include more car parking and the levelling and draining of rugby pitches.
The proposals had attracted a 136-name petition and 97 letters of objection, with 18 letters of support sent to the council.
Rockford had previously applied to build 28 homes on the site, which was dismissed on appeal because of the intensity of development on Lorton Road.
The new proposal reduced the number of houses close to Lorton Road from seven to four, and moved them further back from the road.
First published at 11:51, Friday, 21 September 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
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