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Wednesday, 27 August 2014

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More than 500 homes a year could be built in Carlisle

More than 500 homes a year could be built in Carlisle to help achieve ambitious growth aspirations.

Crindledyke graphic
An artist’s impression of some of the properties

Expanding the city and getting more people living in it has long been seen as critical to creating more jobs and improving the area’s financial fortunes.

And it would appear that work to develop an updated vision for construction in the district could be about to back that up.

Carlisle City Council is drawing up its latest local plan, a document that will be key to deciding how much development there can be – and where – over the next 15 years.

It will include a target for how many homes a year should be built in the city and its rural fringes, including areas such as Brampton and Longtown.

Based on current analysis of the market, that number is likely to be between 500 and 600-a-year.

Councillors will make a decision on what figure should be included in the draft plan, which will go out to public consultation.

But the likely target is one that the authority’s executives, political leaders and those in the construction industry believe is achievable and for which there is demand.

Jane Meek, the city council’s economic development director, said: “Carlisle is open for growth. We will facilitate as much managed growth as we can to help grow Carlisle.”

Politicians say that having more people means there is a better chance of the city attracting jobs and providing better sports facilities or a new theatre.

The current population of Carlisle district is about 107,000 people.

City council deputy leader Colin Glover holds the Labour-led authority’s economy brief. He said: “We need to get construction going to grow the city.

“This isn’t just about growth, but creating jobs for people. We have got to have a big vision to make sure Carlisle can grow.

“Resources are tight, but that does not mean to say we cannot have ambition. The local plan will set the scene for the long-term.

“We want to be in the best possible position to take advantage of the opportunities that come up when the recession comes to an end.”

Several major housing projects are already underway or are in the pipeline in Carlisle.

Planning permission is in place for 850 homes at Crindledyke, to the north of the city, work on which got underway last month.

The Church Commissioners, meanwhile, has permission for 825 homes on agricultural land between Wigton Road, Dalston Road and Peter Lane, progress on which is expected soon.

Persimmon Homes Lancashire has planning consent for 160 homes at the corner of Peter Lane and Dalston Road, immediately next to the Church Commissioners’ land. It also has consent for 253 homes near The Beeches in Wigton Road, where work is due to start shortly.

Story Homes – the firm behind Crindledyke – has also unveiled plans for an estate of nearly 300 homes at Blackwell on the southern edge of the city.

The company also this week revealed a vision to build between 100 and 150 homes on Walton’s market garden, near the centre of Dalston. Its vision for work there was outlined to Dalston parish council this week.

Managing director Steve Errington said: “There appears to be a strong market for new homes especially because there has been lack of new build in Carlisle. It’s an exciting time for Carlisle.”

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