Up to 26 affordable homes are being proposed next to Keswick hospital in a bid to bring a triple boost to the town.

Keswick Community Housing Trust is behind the plans for an unused corner of Fitz Park, which chairman Bill Bewley said were in their very early stages.

If successful, the trust hopes the scheme would support the future of the Mary Hewitson Cottage Hospital and provide valuable income for Fitz Park as well as helping to meet some of the town’s housing demand.

Mr Bewley said the idea was sparked by the public consultation run by the Success Regime, which is looking into the future of healthcare in the area.

He added: “There was a concern that it might be difficult to recruit staff to the hospital so we felt we’d like to do something to take away that problem.”

The trust is looking into the feasibility of building 10 flats and 16 houses on the site, which is between the hospital and Brundholme Road.

A public meeting is expected to be scheduled in the spring to discuss residents’ views on the proposal.

Keswick Parks Charitable Trust, which owns the park, has given the housing trust permission to look into the idea further, and talks are on the horizon with the Lake District National Park Authority, Cumbria Highways, the Environment Agency and others.

Mr Bewley hopes the scheme would have a good chance of attracting Government funding.

If it got the go ahead, the project would be the housing trust’s fourth scheme.

It first saw the construction of The Hopes, an 11-house development close to the town centre.

It then turned a redundant toilet block at Banks Court into four one-bedroom flats.

The trust’s third project is a partnership with Atkinson Builders and Impact House at Calvert Way, off Brundholme Road.

The first four of the trust’s 22 houses at that site are due for completion today, with another seven set to be finished in the next three weeks.

Completion of the remainder is scheduled by the end of March.

All 22 homes have already been allocated to shared owners or tenants, following 122 applications to the trust.

Mr Bewley said: “We believe in partnership. We think it’s a good way forward if it can produce a result for Keswick.

“We feel it has the potential to be a very good scheme. We’ll listen to any community thoughts about it.”