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Wednesday, 23 April 2014

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Planners set to rule on Dearham homes wrangle

A housing developer’s proposal for a 78-home estate in Dearham will have to go back before planners on Tuesday.

Despite being approved in February, Story Homes and the county council cannot agree on the amount the Carlisle company should put towards extending the village school.

The estate would create an additional nine places at Dearham Primary School.

Allerdale council’s development panel will be asked to agree the amount required from Story Homes.

Although plans were approved by the panel, permission is not fully granted until legal agreements and conditions are agreed.

The county council had agreed to contribute £102,000 towards the cost of a new 30-place classroom at the school at a total cost of £211,000.

Story Homes has offered to pay £63,000 towards the extension, covering the extra places the development will create.

But the county council has asked for £108,459, based on a Department for Education figure of £12,051 per place.

A report to the development panel said Story Homes considered that amount was not fair or reasonable.

The alternative to building a new classroom would be to pay for the transport of the nine children to another school.

The county council has estimated the cost of this to be £87,780 but Story Homes estimated it at £48,806.

Allerdale council must now decide what is required in terms of education provision.

The report said Story Homes’ proposal was reasonable and transport to alternative schools should only be considered as a last resort.

The 2.8-hectare estate would include 49 four-bedroom houses, 21 three-bedroom houses and eight two-bedroom houses.

The development also includes a children’s play park in Pottery Park and a footpath link to Dearham Primary School with lockable gates.

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