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Support for Cockermouth arts centre plans

A £1.5 million proposal to revamp Cockermouth’s Kirkgate Centre has been backed by planners for a second time.

The centre has resubmitted its application for an extension, containing extra information about why materials like zinc and glass have been used, and detailed statements from architects.

It said stone was not viable because of cost, speed of construction, difficulties in transportation and the amount of space needed. The architects also say they do not want to mimic the old style of the building but want to contrast the style of the old with the modern extensions.

The east and west gables will be partly demolished to include a foyer with a cafe bar, seating area and box office, a community meeting room, better offices and improved seating, lighting and sound equipment in the auditorium.

Several residents have raised concerns about the scheme, because the extension would be zinc-clad and they are concerned that it would be out of keeping with the surrounding conservation area.

But the initial application had 52 letters in support and the resubmitted plans have attracted a further 16 backing the scheme. English Heritage, independent experts Places Matter and the town’s civic trust have also said the proposal should go ahead.

The previous application received 46 letters of objection, plus another 13 for the resubmission and a 266-name petition against the plans.

Cockermouth Town Council has also objected.

Members of the development panel will discuss the extension on Tuesday. It has been recommended for approval.

An appeal was lodged when the first application was turned down, but the centre will withdraw it if the resubmission is approved.

Have your say

Rumour on the street is that Allerdale councillors cannot face the cost of an appeal, so will approve the re-submission.

Posted by Dave Siddall on 5 October 2012 at 16:36

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