Previously approved plans to build a new village hall have been abandoned – in exchange for a further two houses in a new development.

After being granted planning permission for a six-acre development at Lamplugh, Swift Homes Ltd initially planned to build a second village hall for the community, in a bid to provide the area with a welcoming feel.

But these plans have now changed, with a new application submitted earlier this month to build a further two houses in place of the proposed community hub.

The application is for “removal of previously approved village hall and replacement with two detached dwellings and detached double garage” at The Mill Fields development.

Developers hope to include a mixture of 27 bungalows, cottages, semi-detached and detached houses on the large site, located in the middle of the village, now with an additional two houses, instead of the originally planned village hall.

Although Lamplugh already has one village hall – thanks to the fundraising efforts of the Village Hall Committee and community – the initial plans to build a second were in-line with the section 106 clause, which states the applicant must benefit the village or Copeland in some way with its development.

And one resident, who wished to remain anonymous, is confused by the turnaround, wondering what the next step is for the developer.

“If they aren’t offering the village hall to meet the section 106 criteria, what will they be doing for the community?” they asked.

“I know a lot of people in the village were completely against the development to start with, so it’s definitely interesting to consider how they will benefit anyone now that they aren’t going through with the village hall.”

But John Swift, of Swift Homes Ltd, has reassured the village, offering a helpful contribution to building the Village Hall Committee to see the hall completed to the highest possible standard.

He said: "It was clear that the parish of Lamplugh would prefer to have their [hall] rather than ours, so I decided to remove the plan and give them a financial contribution instead.

"I wish them every success in completing their village hall."

Swift Homes Ltd has recently created The Avenue development at Stainburn, and The Mount at Whitehaven – both of which have proved popular within the community, with houses on both sites being nearly all sold.

To have your say on the application, and share your thoughts on whether the village hall should be replaced by further homes, visit the Copeland Council website at