PLANS for new social housing in Whitehaven were welcomed by councillors as they gave a 40-home scheme the go-ahead.

Members of Copeland Council’s planning panel voted unanimously in favour of Home Group’s application to build houses at Fell View Avenue and Windermere Road at Woodhouse.

The scheme includes 24 two-bed bungalows, four three-bed bungalows and 12 two-bed houses. Two pairs of semi-detached houses will also be demolished.

There were originally a number of three- and four-bed houses on the land but these were demolished around 10 years ago.

At a meeting of Copeland Council’s planning panel on Wednesday, Nick Hayhurst, the council’s head of planning and place, said the original houses were in a “really poor state” and most of them had been boarded up at the time of demolition.

He said grant funding had been provided by Homes England to build the new houses.

Mr Hayhurst said: “These are much more modern in construction so they will have more longevity than what was there before.”

As a requirement of the funding from Homes England, the properties must be retained in Home Group’s possession and be made available for rent, the meeting was told.

Councillor Graham Calvin welcomed the application. He said: “I’m pleased to see Home Group stepping up to the plate and doing what’s needed for our community.    

“Two-bedroom bungalows – absolutely fantastic – and I’m sure they’ll be a big hit. Well done, Home Group.”

Councillor Linda Jones-Bulman said: “It’s a shame that we don’t get more social housing schemes that come to this panel. They’re very much needed – especially the two-bedroom bungalows. They’re a huge asset to our communities.”

Concerns had been raised by residents living nearby that the existing roads were not wide enough to serve the existing houses and that the situation would be worsened by the new development.

Off-road parking spaces have been proposed to serve each new property, with additional visitor spaces also provided.

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