NEW houses for local people in a Lake District village have been turned down following strong opposition.

Forty-six letters of objection were lodged against revised plans for Blease Road, Threlkeld near Keswick.

Mr D. Birkett, of B&T Developments, applied to build eight homes and 26 car parking spaces at the site, which was described by Lake District National Park Authority planners as “the foothills of Blencathra.”

The plan attracted 13 letters of support.

LDNPA planner Ben Long told a meeting of the development control committee in Kendal that Threlkeld Parish Council was in favour and that there was an “ongoing need” for such housing.

But he proposed the application, for three local affordable occupancy homes and five local occupancy homes, be refused on the grounds of size, layout and impact on other residents.

Mr Long said: “A number of objectors have cited concerns about the setting on the foothills of Blencathra. Clearly housing on this site would affect views out from the immediate frontage up towards Blencathra.”

Objector David Cottam, an architect for 35 years, spoke on behalf of those living at nearby Sunny Bank and Sunnyside. He said the site was “wholly inappropriate” for housing.

Mr Cottam told the committee: “We estimate over 2,000 lorry movements will be needed to remove the earth before construction of the houses actually begins. Blease Road already struggles with coaches and refuse vehicles. It would create two years of chaos which would affect the whole village.”

Supporter Hannah Wignall spoke in favour of the plan. She said: “My family live in Threlkeld and I also live in the village with my partner in rented accommodation. We work in the area and would love to start a family. However, the few houses that do come on the market are well out of our price range or frustratingly are sold as holiday lets. if affordable houses are not provided for younger people to enable them to get on the property ladder then there will be no local generations living in the area in future.”

Peter Winter, a town planner on behalf of the applicant, called on the committee to approve or defer the plans for amendments.

Committee member Hugh Branney said: “We only have one decision to make and it’s to refuse.” Committee member Louise Waterhouse said the scheme was good but required changes.

Panel member Miles MacInnes said it was a “difficult balance” but the village had recently seen 13 affordable houses approved by the park authority.

“We have to balance that against the amenity of the site, not only for the adjoining householders but the village generally,” said Mr MacInnes.

The committee voted unanimously to reject the proposal, sparking a smattering of applause from objectors in the public gallery.