Ex-NATO arms dump housing plan hit with rejection

Derwent Forest Development Consortium is considering its options after its 71-home first phase was refused consent at the 1,050-acre Cumbrian site, in the face of officer recommendation.

Allerdale Council’s development panel refused the plans at its 15 March meeting, weeks after the local authority’s planning officers backed the plans. February’s panel had deferred a verdict, requesting further information on highways impact.

The developer had sought permission to regenerate 1,050 acres of land near Broughton Moor in Cumbria which encompasses a redundant colliery, used between the 1930s and 1992 as an arms dump by the Royal Navy, before passing into council ownership.

Proposals within its masterplan included employment space, homes and community facilities, a link to the coast-to-coast cycleway and the removal of miles of military fencing to open up the site for public use.

Nigel Catterson, chairman of the development consortium, said: “This is disappointing news given the tremendous amount of work we have undertaken with all stakeholders to demonstrate how the scheme would sit well within its location and address the local road network.

“The application clearly brings a wide range of benefits to the area and supports a number of strategic priorities identified by local government.  It remains our ambition to remediate 450 acres of derelict land and improve public access alongside building affordable homes, an early-years teaching unit at Broughton academy and the planting of 15,000 trees.”

The professional team for the project includes architect Atelier 2 and global environmental engineer Tetra Tech. Development finance is being provided by Liverpool-based property funder Tower Grange Finance.

Amongst the proposals are:

  • A village green
  • A 2.5km path and cycle way linked to the coast-to-coast route and National Route 71
  • 15,000 new trees in a new 13-acre woodland to promote carbon capture
  • A 1km woodland walk
  • Watercourse improvements to the historic Flammiggs Gill
  • A multi-purpose visitor centre
  • A purpose-built early-years facility at the nearby Broughton Academy

Much of the site, which lies between Cockermouth and Workington has been closed off for more than 80 years.

Catterson continued: “There are wider ecological gains available, too, and the amenity value of linking the site to the coast-to-coast cycleway and building new exercise trails.

“Our proposals were just for phase one and we have even greater ambitions for the remainder of the site which we hope to bring to fruition.  But first we will absorb the details of the reasoning behind the decision and consider our options.”

The site is allocated in the Local Plan for large-scale, predominantly open leisure development, hotel/restaurant and conference centre, a festival site, residential, small-scale business use and renewable energy schemes.

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May be if road network had been put in first it would have had more chance

By Edna

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