Green light for new Warwick Bridge housing plan

The application from Simtor was for land to south of Chapel Close but Wetheral parish council had raised concerns over the access point onto Downagate Road, as well as road safety concerns at the nearby A69, and a lack of places at Warwick Bridge Primary School.

Members of Cumberland Council’s planning committee considered the application at a meeting at the Civic Centre in Carlisle[1] on Wednesday (April 24)

Planning officer Stephen Daniel told members it was considered an acceptable location for housing and more details about the access and properties would be submitted later in the planning process.

Councillor Roger Dobson (Corby and Hayton, Lib Dems) spoke against the application as the local ward member and said: “My concern rests solely on the issue of road safety and the risks to pedestrians, particularly children.

“Warwick Bridge is a dangerous environment for pedestrians. The A69 which is part of the strategic road network, runs through the heart of the community.”

He highlighted a number of incidents where people had been injured as well as one fatal accident along the route and added: “On Monday of this week, I travelled on the 685 bus and alighted in Warwick Bridge opposite the Co-op. I crossed the A69 at that very same point as the fatal accident Using the central refuge I came within an ace of being hit by a lorry.”

The applicant’s agent said most of the issues that had been raised did not seem to be related to the proposed development and, according to planning policy, it could not be refused on highway grounds and the council’s highways department had not objected.

Mr Daniel said: “From the development children could walk to the school without crossing the road. I think it’s a good location.”

Councillor John Mallinson (Houghton and Irthington, Conservative) said he could support the application would fund a footpath to make it safer for pedestrians and added: “I would be much more inclined to vote for this application if there was one there.”

He said he knew that part of the A69 very well and he described it as “lethal” and added: “I do have reservations about this application. If the A69 was de-trunked it might be a different story.”

However, councillor Bob Kelly (Millom, Labour) said that there were 27 conditions for approval and said: “I think we have to support it.”

Councillor Robert Betton (Botcherby, Independent Group) said he also had concerns about road safety in the area as well as the number of houses being built.

He said there was a lack of infrastructure and “proper social housing” and added: “There isn’t enough of it.”

Chris Hardman, the council’s head of development management for Carlisle, said any future full planning permission would be subject to a legal agreement which would cover affordable housing and Jane Meek, the council’s assistant director of thriving place and investment, said it was for outline planning permission and added: “It’s important to bear that in mind.”

However, cllr Betton said he felt “uncomfortable” making a decision without having all the information. He said: “I would like to put forward that this comes back with all the information. At the moment it’s just hear say.”

Committee chairwoman, councillor Anne Glendinning (Castle, Labour), said: “Just because we approve an outline application doesn’t mean we will approve a full application.”

Cllr Betton’s proposal did not have a seconder, so councillor Andrew Semple (Cockermouth South, Labour) proposed that they approved the application, and he was seconded by councillor Chris Southward (Denton Holme, Labour).

When it was put to the vote members voted in favour of granting outline planning permission.


  1. ^ Carlisle (