PLANS to bulldoze an “eyesore” former church and put houses in its place have been given the go-ahead.

Councillors approved an application to demolish St Bega’s Catholic Chapel on Whitehaven Road in Cleator Moor to make way for 11 houses, at a meeting held on Wednesday.

Cleator Moor Town Council had objected to the plans and raised concerns over the “already busy” junction at Bowthorn and the increased traffic from the proposed Leconfield extension.

Five letters of objection were received from the public, which raised concerns over drainage, road safety and privacy issues for Coniston Park residents.

Speaking at the meeting, Spencer Fretwell, of South North Crossings Ltd, the company behind the plans, said: “We believe this is an ideal residential infill site within the town settlement boundary.

“It’s a relatively small scale development. It will strengthen the local economy.

“The site has presented some technical challenges and as we have addressed these details, we have taken the approach to improve and enhance the site, wherever possible.

“Following an initial objection by the town council when the scheme was first submitted in 2021, we have worked hard with the Environment Agency, Coal Authority, highways and our design team to fully address the issues raised.

“We feel the proposals have a lot of potential and look forward to the opportunity to fully explore the designs.”

Members of Copeland Council’s planning panel approved the scheme, with a number of conditions.

A design and access statement lodged with the application says: “It is proposed to demolish the existing disused chapel building, that is no longer fit for purpose, is in a poor state of repair and a visual eyesore to the area potentially attracting anti-social activity.

“It is then proposed to construct 11 new, high quality residential homes.”

The development will be made up of four three-bedroom semi-detached houses, three three-bedroom detached houses and four four-bedroom houses.

A new private access road is to be constructed along the edge of the site to serve the properties and off-street parking will be provided.

The site is also to be landscaped to control rain water run-off and protect the properties from flooding.

READ MORE: Decision due on plans to demolish St Bega's Chapel and build houses