A KESWICK councillor has said that a scheme for new homes is lacking ambition - after the council announced that four new affordable homes are to be built in the town.

The scheme aims to address an affordable rental homes problem in Keswick.

The much-needed homes are being developed as a result of a scheme developed by Allerdale Borough Council. 

At the council’s executive meeting held on July 20, councillors agreed to lease the properties to an affordable housing provider for an initial period of five years.

It is expected that rent on the flats would be charged at 80 per cent of the open market rate. 

However, a Keswick councillor has said that while the plans are great news, they lack ambition in comparison to those thought up by the former administration.

Markus Campbell-Savours said: “It's great news that the properties are nearing completion and these will provide much needed rental accommodation in Keswick. 

"It's just disappointing that the council dropped Labour’s plan to deliver a new Allerdale Housing Company. 

"This would have seen Otley Rd as phase one of a much more ambitious plan, with the council getting back to the important job of building affordable homes for people across Allerdale.

"Labour developed these plans prior to 2019, and despite initially denying they would be scrapped, the Conservative’s quietly dropped them last year. Where’s the ambition?”

The council’s housing team has already identified a need for affordable one-bedroom properties in the town. 

Deputy leader of the council, Cllr Marion Fitzgerald, said: “We have a commitment to help people with their housing needs. Therefore, I'm really pleased to be able to recommend that we lease these properties to an affordable housing provider.  

"Housing is such a hot topic in Keswick where demand is extremely high. We want to do everything we can to help people – such as those who work in the town on a low income – to be able to afford to live there too.

"This project has also brought an empty building back into use, and due to the location of the properties in the centre of the town, will help to maintain a thriving town centre.” 

The properties are due to be finally completed in the early Autumn.

At the end of the five-year period, a longer-term decision on the future use of the flats can be taken by the new Cumberland Council unitary authority.

ORIGINAL STORY: 'We want to do everything we can to help': New affordable homes in Keswick