The village of Lazonby could be well rid of one of its most unloved features if an initiative by the parish council, working with Eden District Council, comes to fruition.
The two councils are working with the owners of the site of a former egg packing station on the village’s Bank Foot to have affordable housing built on the area, where there is currently a large and unsightly redundant industrial shed.
The steel-framed structure with corrugated iron and asbestos cladding was built in the 1930s to house the egg packing facility and later served as a vehicle store, but has not seen further use since the 1970s.
A retaining wall set into the hillside at one side of the site collapsed about 15 years ago.
Although it has been on the open market, previous attempts to develop the site for housing or some other purpose have foundered because the retaining wall problem and presence of asbestos meant such schemes were not commercially viable.
However, a grant was awarded to come up with detailed plans for the site, and further cash would become available to buy and clear it if the councils can complete a number of steps — including producing options to develop it, obtaining planning permission for such a scheme, calculating its cost and finding the money required for construction.
The parish council is asking local residents what sort of development they would like to see, and Eden Housing Association has also become involved as a possible developer.
Parish councillor Gordon Nicolson — formerly leader of Eden Council — said the scheme could comprise affordable flats or a terrace of perhaps eight to 10 houses.
He described it as a good opportunity to deal with what is undoubtedly an eyesore, with the bonus that it would provide affordable homes which are much needed in the village.
He added that comments on what form the scheme should take and letters of support for the move would be much appreciated.