COUNCILLORS have expressed their disappointment after a £12m housing development for the elderly has fallen victim to the pandemic.

Developers Home Group had planned to build a "specialist housing" development which would have seen 65 new homes built at the corner of Lightfoot Drive and Petteril Bank Road in the Harraby area of Carlisle.

The aim of the development was to provide residents with integrated care in the community, which would have offered greater independence to those requiring ongoing care, such as those with health conditions and the elderly.

However, Home Group has confirmed that the Covid-19 pandemic has forced it to carry out a review of its projects.

The £12m development for Harraby was unfortunately a victim of that process.

Deborah Earl, who has been involved in the project as Cumbria County Council cabinet member for public health and community services and also as a councillor for the area, commented: "This is obviously disappointing news.

"I am hopeful that another developer comes forward. It is a great site and extra care is needed for that area.

"It would have had a huge impact. At the moment there is an old care home on the site and that would have come down and it would have regenerated the area."

Carlisle City Councillor for the area, Jo Ellis-Williams, said: "It's a huge disappointment as I thought the facility was very good.

"It would have rejuvenated an area that could do with investment."

Joe Cook, Executive Director of Development at Home Group, said: “Due to the impact of Covid-19 on our business plan we conducted a thorough review of all our proposed activity.

“This has led to us having to scale back on some of our proposed developments. Unfortunately, this includes the community well-being development in the Harraby area.

“We are obviously disappointed that we can’t deliver this scheme, but we, like many other housing associations, have needed to make some tough decisions to ensure that we remain a strong and financially secure developing provider.

“Last year we signalled our commitment to invest further in our ambitious build programme when we secured a £350 million bond issue".

Home Group say they "remain committed to having an active presence across Cumbria."