Penrith flats set for go-ahead despite council objections

Proposals by Churchill Retirement Living for a four-storey apartment scheme in the centre of Penrith have been recommended for approval, despite claims by the town’s council that the scheme would be “overbearing”.

The plans by the retirement living developer are for 54 flats on a site currently occupied by a former car dealership between Roper Street and Old London Road, just outside Penrith town centre.

The proposal is for a four-storey building containing a mix of one and two-bed flats, along with communal facilities, 23 car parking spaces, and landscaping.

However, Penrith’s town council has raised a series of objections to the project, including its appearance, scale, and its impact on local traffic.

In its response to the planning application, the council said the scheme was “not felt to be high quality” and “due its massing, scale and layout will be overbearing and create overshadowing” on nearby properties, most of which are three storeys in height.

The council also said Roper Street was “already experiencing serious traffic issues” and added the vehicular access to the development “will add to difficulties for local residents and those travelling along [Roper Street]”.

Car parking on the site was argued to be “inadequate for the scale of the development”.

Neighbours and local residents were also consulted on the scheme. After 75 neighbours were consulted, the scheme received just two letters of objection and 15 letters of observation.

Despite the objections, planning officers have recommended the project for approval when Eden Council’s planning committee meets next week.

The planners’ report to the committee said: “The building is considered to be well-designed with an appropriate layout and form so as to minimise the impact upon the character of the locality.”

Planners also argued the development was unlikely to “adversely impact upon the local highway network” due to its proximity to the town centre and local transport links.

The report concluded: “Whilst it is finely balanced in terms of the impact of the proposal upon local residential amenity, although a degree of harm would be caused to existing local amenity, this is not considered to be sufficiently adverse so as to warrant the refusal of this application in this instance when existing local town centre conditions are taken into account.”

Eden Council’s planning committee is due to meet on 15 March.

The professional team on the project includes Planning Issues; Peter Brett Associates; Mott MacDonald; and Orion Heritage.

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