MAJOR plans for dozens of new 'custom-built' homes and a ‘fully accessible’ holiday accommodation on a former military camp in the Lake District have been given the green light.

Members of the development control committee for the Lake District National Park Authority approved plans from FN Solutions, subject to conditions, to build 50 homes, eight short term holiday lets and a community hub in Bootle.

Each plot at Wellbank Park costs from £120,000 with the build cost on top of that.

The detached houses and bungalows will sit alongside a community hub, giving residents and locals access to a café/bistro, swimming pool, co-working space, meeting rooms and community exhibition space, as well as a hydrotherapy pool, gym, and sensory room.

Proposed cottages credit: Artform Architects

Proposed cottages credit: Artform Architects

David Nuttall, one of the owners of F N Solutions, bought the site with his wife Janet and business partner Mark Frost with a vision to attract new families to the area by creating a vibrant, mixed-use development centred around community and sustainability.

He says: “We are so pleased to achieve this milestone. Wellbank Park is a unique project and will have such a positive impact on the lives of those who live here. It’s a privilege to be working with Hugr Homes who help our new residents design and build their dream homes, and Brickhouse Farm Cottages who provide fantastic holidays for families challenged with disability.

“Our vision to create a strong community underpinned with sustainable energy and environmental values has begun. Thanks to all in Bootle village and the wider West Cumbria for their support. We are now ready to help you build your next home.”

The proposals consist of 50 new homes including eight ‘affordable’ properties for discounted sale as well as eight holiday letting units that would allow disabled and non-disabled parties to take holidays together in dedicated, suitable accommodation, planning documents state.

Planning officer Ben Long told the committee properties on the site would be built in accordance with a design code where purchasers would take a plot and work with developers to design their home while meeting a ‘strict’ set of criteria’.

A hybrid planning application, which includes full planning consent for 18 homes as well as outline planning permission for 32 homes, a 40-bedroom hotel and six business units, was approved in 2015 and this remains a ‘fall back option’ for the developer.

Works have started on the site in relation to the previous application.

The previous scheme also had a requirement for 12 homes to be available for affordable rent by a registered social housing landlord however the applicant ‘identified difficulties’ in securing a partner to deliver those homes.

The proposed community hub credit: Artform Architects

The proposed community hub credit: Artform Architects

Planning officers said this had been corroborated by discussions with Cumberland Council and local housing associations which show ‘no appetite’ to build affordable rented properties in the vicinity in the short to medium term.

According to the design, access and heritage statement ‘extensive discussions’ with hotel operators have failed to find an interested operator for the previously proposed 40-bedroom hotel.

“However there has been demand from a specific operator to instead build fully accessible and full supported holiday units for those with medical disabilities, with shared services building (the ‘hub’). These would be very bespoke purpose built units meeting a very specific tourist need”, plans add.

Alongside the letting units an associated hub is proposed which would provide a pool, catering and meeting facilities to serve people staying in the holiday lets, other residents on site and the wider community.

The building would also provide flexible employment space and meeting rooms available to be let on short basis.

Site masterplan credit Artform Architects

Site masterplan credit Artform Architects

Planning documents state: “The benefits of this application are that the economy is boosted in a sustainable location by new mixed use development which is designed and planned to work as a community with permanent residents able to access and use the hub facilities, as well as shared areas of open space.

“The tourist units deliver a very specific and unmet need, bringing visitors to the local area and improving the quality and value of the tourism offer.”

According to the design, access and heritage statement the proposed development could bring 35 jobs to the area.

Anyone wanting to find out more about custom-build homes is invited to Wellbank Park’s ‘Open Day’ on Saturday May 18, including site tours and the chance to talk to the designers and builders.