A RESIDENT group has raised “extreme safety concerns” about a plan to build 24 homes.

Copeland Council’s planning department approved proposals to build a development in Beckermet on September 16 after it was initially rejected on August 5.

Residents of the Hunter Rise Group have identified two possible access points to the Hunter Rise site, one being off Fleming Drive and another from Morass Road, which they say is unsafe.

They claim access to the development from Fleming Drive was considered, but the planning authority – wrongly, according to the residents group – was advised the land was owned by a third-party who was not willing to sell.

Consequently, the group said the council’s planning panel based its decision on “misinformation”.

Di Shepherd, speaking on behalf of Hunter Rise Group, said: “We feel severely let down in many ways.

She felt the decision was fundamentally flawed because information about alternative and safer site access point was overlooked.

“There were enough safety concerns for the application to be rejected on the first hearing and nothing changed. It was noted that three members of the panel who voted against the application on the first hearing were not at the second meeting when it was passed”

They say they did not feel like their concerns were listened to or addressed and have made a formal complaint to Copeland Council about the process.

Hunter Rise Group are also disappointed that their requests to hold a site visit were rejected.

Initially Cumbria Highways said that the development would lead to an increase in traffic and would “likely result in additional dangers to all users of the road”.

After reviewing the amended application, they commented that the development would increase footfall “where pedestrian facilities are lacking”, but acknowledged there was no “feasible solution” to address this.

The county’s highways department will receive £16,300 from the developer to contribute towards future traffic calming measure across a five-year period.

“I want it out there should anything happen in the future or someone is hurt or God forbid killed, they (Copeland Council) are wholly responsible,” added Di.

The residents' group also claim the traffic monitor used in the area was “incorrectly positioned” and the information included in the information packs was incorrect such as the site boundaries and the amenities in the area. They say the virtual site visit did not take into account the incline on Hunter Rise and subsequently visibility on the road was not accurately represented.

There were 69 letters of objection submitted after the plan was first revealed, with 15 objection letters received for the amended proposals.

Hunter Rise Group were also anxious about the safety of children on the way to school due to the lack of pavement provision.

A spokesman for Copeland Council said: “The planning application went through a robust and transparent planning process. Members of the planning panel had a virtual site visit and considered the application at two meetings, at which objectors took the opportunity to make their case in full to the committee.

“After giving all matters thorough consideration, it was decided by our elected members that the application should be approved.”