A REVISED scheme to build more than 70 homes on a controversial site in Carlisle is edging closer to being given the go-ahead.

The proposed £7.5m housing development at Deer Park has been the subject to controversy since plans were submitted to the city council.

An application for the erection of 80 dwellings on this site was refused by the council’s Development Control Committee in December 2020.

However, Gleeson Homes lodged an appeal against the refusal and also applied for an award of costs against the City Council. This was granted on June 24.

Now the council’s planning officer has recommended that the application be approved with conditions including the provision of 20 per cent affordable properties and a contribution of £508,596 to Cumbria County Council towards education provision.

A spokesperson for Gleeson Homes expressed their delight at the recommendation. “After recently gaining planning permission we are looking forward to delivering much needed affordable homes to this part of Carlisle," they said

“This revised planning application on the site would still deliver 79 much-needed low-cost homes to first-time buyers including 24 affordable homes, still deliver over £500,000 to provide more school places in the local area and still represent an investment of over £7.5 million."

The development, which will be known as Deer Park, will see the seven-acre site transformed into “quality”, “affordable” homes, says the developer.

Concerns have previously been raised over the plans, amid fears of over-development and the impact on biodiversity.

Previously vacant, the site has been earmarked for housing since 2008.

The developers added: “The subtle changes in the scheme would allow us to provide a four-bedroom show home, a children’s timber trail adjacent to the public footpath that will run through the protected trees and will provide opportunities to increase the bio diversity both on site and off site in comparison to how bio diverse the site is today.

“We look forward to taking our revised scheme to the planning committee and hope that they agree with their planning officer’s recommendation.”

A final decision is due this week.

You can view the application at carlisle.gov.uk by quoting the reference number 21/0157.