Orrest Head Farm, Urban Splash, c Google Earth

The highways application looks to improve A591 and Thwaites Lane in Windermere. Credit: Google Earth

Urban Splash looks to unlock Windermere housing

Working alongside the National Trust, Lake District National Park Authority, and Westmorland and Furness Council, the developer has lodged transport infrastructure plans to kickstart the Windermere Gateway project.

The application centres on the A591 and Thwaites Lane between Orrest Head Farm and Windermere train station.  Orrest Head Farm is suitable for up to 250 homes and 8,100 sq ft of non-residential space – having been allocated for mixed-use development in the Lake District’s local plan. The site is owned by the National Trust.

Getting the connection between the train station and the future housing site right is crucial to ensure that those homes can be delivered at that scale. Designed by Civic Engineers, the highway works would include new junctions, cycle links, pedestrian-focussed improvements, and green infrastructure such as rain gardens, wildflower meadows, and native tree planting.

The wider Windermere Gateway project would see the National Trust get a new office, improvements to Windermere rail station, and public realm improvements.

Speaking prior to the general election announcement, Westmorland and Furness Council Leader Cllr Jonathan Brook said: “The long-term ambition for this exciting project is to create a world-class welcome for visitors arriving in Windermere, sensitively creating an enhanced gateway to the Lake District World Heritage Site through a redeveloped station, housing and employment site and transport hub.

“This important first stage, if approved, will support our ambition to work with developers to enable land to be brought forward for housing development, creating more, affordable, quality housing so that local families can build a life here and young people can stay in the area,” he continued.

“The road works will be necessary to provide the much-needed affordable housing but we also recognise that they can cause inconvenience in the short term and will work with any contractor and partners to minimise the impacts on our local community.”

Urban Splash said it hopes to submit an application for the non-infrastructure portion of the Orrest Head Farm plans later this year.

Made it Together is the planning consultant for the highways application, with Tyler Grange leading on the project’s arboriculture and biodiversity.

Reflecting on the project, Joe Woolley, development manager at Urban Splash, said: “Following consultation with the community we are pleased to have submitted this application.

“We now look forward to working through the planning process with local people, the local authority, and our partners as we seek to realise our shared vision for the future of Orrest Head Farm.”

You can learn more about the application by searching reference number 7/2024/5265 on the Lake District National Park’s planning portal.

Learn more about the development scene in Cumbria. Book your Cumbria Development Update ticket.

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