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Homes plan undermines Garden Village scheme, warns MP

Carlisle MP John Stevenson receives a protest letter from Scotby residents against Gladman Land’s Rookery Park proposals

CARLISLE MP John Stevenson has warned that Carlisle’s proposed Garden Village masterplan is in danger of being undermined by controversial large scale village housing plans.

Mr Stevenson was speaking after he met Scotby residents who have launched a campaign to halt a massive scheme which is proposed near the village centre by Cheshire based developer Gladman Land.

Protesters handed Mr Stevenson a letter containing hundreds of signatures gathered within 24 hours of the Gladman Land proposal being made public this week.

It wants to create a housing estate of up to 90 houses on land near Townhead Farm just 100 yards from Scotby village green. It would be called Rookery Park.

The controversial site has been “discounted” for housing purposes in the Carlisle City Council Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment because of its “unacceptable landscape impact”.

It also falls outside the council’s District Local Plan 2015-2030 which earmarks suitable housing land.

Mr Stevenson said: “I have always wanted the city to grow and recognise that the village is part of that growth, however there has already been substantial development and more planned in Scotby as well as other villages, and we must not overbuild in these villages.

“In addition this piece of land is not in the local plan and was in fact rejected by the city council.

“However, most importantly of all we have the prospects for a Garden Village and we must not undermine that in any way.

“Indeed it is vital that the city and the council get behind the Garden Village and ensure its long term success.”

St Cuthbert’s Garden Village could transform the southern edge of Carlisle for the next 25 years, with up to 10,000 homes and new infrastructure including a southern link road.

The north Cumbrian masterplan is one of 14 huge new developments planned across the country with Government support.

Gladman Land sent consultation leaflets to Scotby householders on Monday. It is yet to submit a council planning application.

An online campaign group called Defeat Gladman Land at Scotby was launched, and an initial protest letter gained more than 200 signatures. A larger petition is due to be organised along with public protests.

Campaign spokesman Peter Devenish, of Ghyll Road, said: “It goes against the local plan, guidelines on ‘windfall development’ and was discounted as possible development land when the local plan was agreed in 2016.”

Steve Johnston, of Scotby Village, said: “A housing estate on open countryside so close to the village green will totally destroy the character of the village and a landscape view known and loved by many.

“This deliberately targets a site that our council has previously stated is unsuitable for housing on landscape grounds.”

There is growing concern over the number of housing plans already approved in Scotby, a lack of infrastructure to cope, and anger among residents in the Park Road area who fear increased traffic on a notoriously busy school route.

Wetheral Parish Council issued a statement confirming that it had been contacted by Gladman Land.

It said: “A meeting has been arranged between Parish Council representatives and the developer, in order to discuss the proposals.

“This will give councillors the opportunity to ask questions and raise concerns with the developer prior to any planning application being submitted.”

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