Public consultation over Morton site

Michael Hunt

Residents in Carlisle are being invited to have their say over proposed development plans on land owned by the council at a pre-application public consultation next week.

The two-day event is being arranged by planning consultants Montagu Evans and is aimed at giving residents an opportunity to find out more about how land in Morton, which is bounded by Wigton Road and Dalston Road, could be developed.

The 12.6-acre greenfield site was offered to Tesco to move the supermarket from its existing site on Viaduct Estate, where it owns some land, to make way for a new £70m university campus.

Exchange arrangements meant the store would relinquish its ownership and be moved to the site at Morton, with the difference in sale price being retained by the city council to use on other projects.

However, there was no deal signed between the council and Tesco and with the proposed new university campus now not going ahead, the council is looking at going to an open market process for the site.

Part of the overall Morton masterplan includes proposals for:

  • A new 88,000 sq ft foodstore
  • Creation of jobs for the local economy
  • 606 car parking spaces
  • A petrol filling station
  • Provision for restaurant and cafe, hot food takeaway and crèche

Carlisle City Council said views from the consultation will help draw together an outline planning application, which is scheduled to be submitted in spring this year.

The two day event is a pre-application consultation and, therefore, comments made at this stage will be considered, however the council has stressed they will not be formal representations. There will be an opportunity to make representations when the planning application is submitted.

The development would sit next to a planned housing estate and business park by the Church Commissioners for land it owns next to the site.

The church plan has been delayed for 15 years but was approved in principle by Carlisle City Council earlier this month.

It aims to build 825 new houses and create 2,750 new jobs to help transform the area. It could be delayed again if the Government Office North West decides to hold a public inquiry. The homes will be built in three phases over ten years.

The pre-application public consultation event for the Morton site will be held at Morton Community Centre on Thursday 4 March, between 5pm-8pm, and on Friday 5 March, between 9am-5pm.

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