AN ULVERSTON councillor said the town ‘desperately’ needed retirement housing as an apartment complex elsewhere in south Cumbria was given the green light.

Cllr Janette Jenkinson made the comments during discussions surrounding a proposal to build 55 retirement apartments on the site of a former Porsche garage in Kendal.

The scheme, from retirement home developer McCarthy Stone, was ultimately given the go-ahead at the meeting of the district council's planning committee on Thursday.

Cllr Jenkinson said: "I do wish these organisations would think about Ulverston, because we desperately need something like this in Ulverston."

Cllr Jenkinson said she was an 'admirer' of retirement housing and that developments such as the one pencilled-in for Kendal released retirees' homes to families.

"I have watched a lot [of retirement housing] come into the district over the years," said the Ulverston West councillor.

"People are living longer and they are living quality lives.

"I think it [the Kendal development] is in quite an ideal location, even though there's been some comments about the walking into town."

Debate over the development at the planning committee meeting saw concerns raised about access to the town centre and the number of apartments designated for local people.

Bowness councillor John Holmes was concerned about the absence of affordable housing provision - which the applicant contended would make the development unviable.

“It’s all very well turning round and saying ‘local occupancy’, but that’s not the same in this situation as affordable housing,” said Cllr Holmes.

“I don’t accept the situation in one way, but I do accept that the officers have obviously considered it."

Fifteen of the apartments - constituting 27 per cent of the total - will be for locals.

All councillors present at the meeting bar one - an abstention - voted in favour of the proposal, with two added conditions - that electric vehicle charging points be included, and that a request for a higher local occupancy percentage be made.