Concerns were raised over plans for an 88-home residential development at Kirkby Stephen during a meeting of the town council on Tuesday.
Objectors voiced fears that should Eden Council grant approval for such a large number of homes at the controversial Whitehouse farm site, Kirkby Stephen would no longer be “a hidden gem” but “one huge housing estate”.
Developer Mark Cairns was represented at the meeting by his son, Martin, who said under government guidelines they could actually put in for 120 houses on the site, but they didn’t want to go there as they don’t want to squash properties and want them to look like nice houses.
The meeting was told the visual impact of the proposed development would be “significant” as the site rises considerably and the plan was now to build houses further up the ridge towards the skyline.
Drainage concerns were also highlighted and the impact the development could have on the build up of surface water on nearby Manor Court.
Alex Birtles suggested that what was needed was a “full and frank” discussion with the developer about what could be achieved before the town council submits its response to Eden Council, so councillors could air some of their concerns.
The Whitehouse farm site already has outline planning permission, but the exact number of homes to be built is yet to be decided.
It was agreed that discussions should take place with the developer before the town council reconvenes for a further meeting via video conference on Tuesday at which it will decide what comments it will forward to the district council’s planning department