Resi tipped for approval at Cumbrian ex-weapons site

Derwent Forest Development Consortium hopes to deliver 71 homes as the first phase of redeveloping the 1,000-acre Broughton Moor arms depot.

Allerdale Council’s development panel will consider the plans on 15 February, with approval recommended by planning officers.

Approval would allow work to begin on the restoration and opening up of more than 1,000 acres of the site between Cockermouth and Workington, which has been closed to the public for more than eighty years.

The site is described in planning documents as the lagest brownfield development opportunity in the North West.

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

Early works will include removing the military fencing that kept the site secure and in creating cycleways, paths, parkland and woodland.

Land polluted by the former military activities will be cleaned up and old mine shafts capped off and made safe.  Further investment in the site’s bio-diversity is also planned.

2001 Atelier 2 Architecture

2001 Atelier 2 Architecture

“We’re aiming to open up the site’s facilities and natural resources as soon as practicable,” said Nigel Catterson, executive chairman of Derwent Forest Development Consortium.

“The coast-to-coast cycle path is a nationally-significant resource and brings with it activity and spending power and we’ll begin working on our link to it immediately, should our application be successful. We’ll also focus on the new footpaths and woodland trails and I’m looking forwards to seeing people enjoying them all.”

The homes will be sustainability-focused. Affordable housing will acount for 20% of homrs delivered.

According to the development team, only minor works will be required to the local road network, with construction traffic able to be routed to avoid Great Broughton.

Scheme architect Dylan Jones said: “The site is blessed with lots of tarmac roads which were designed for military-grade heavy goods vehicles so we’ll be able to use these whilst we do all the heavy-lifting around the site clean-up.”

More than 3,000 tonnes of contaminated waste will be removed during the initial phase of works, with proposals agreed with planners for the on-going woodland and countryside management of the remainder of the estate.

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.

The former colliery site was taken over by the Royal Navy in the 1930s and owned by them until being decommissioned in 1992 and passing into council ownership. More than 130 magazine buildings remain on site.

Click any image to launch gallery. Credit for all iamges: via Merrion Strategy.

Your Comments

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Well done. Looks a really interesting scheme. Good to see the land being opened up after all this time, too.

By Sceptical

Encouraging to see some modern architecture, landscaping looks wonderful too. Going to be a great place to live this, especially with that hilly backdrop

By Joel H

Looks to be a high quality scheme. Contextual, organic yet contemporary architecture and landscaping. Nice work.


Nice work Mr Jones and team !

By Pete Swift

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