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Housing

Support the planned increased housing building across Cumbria

Photo of beautiful, untouched countryside with a large tree in the foreground

Housing delivery is crucial in Cumbria as a contributor to attracting more people to live in the county and stem the decline in working age population.

Cumbria is one of the few areas in England where all our local housing targets are well in excess of the government’s new standard methodology for estimating housing need. This reflects the awareness amongst all local authorities (the leads on planning for housing and co-ordinating investment in infrastructure with the Country Council) that the continuation of past trends is not sustainable given the implications for workforce decline. Across Cumbria we have ambitious targets in our Local Plans, the challenge is facilitating delivery. Cumbria has a relatively small number of national housebuilders who operate in the county alongside local and regional housebuilders.

The collective housing target is for the delivery of around 1,900 houses a year across the county with the highest targets in Carlisle followed by South Lakeland. Cumbria has, in recent years, made excellent progress towards this level of delivery, from around 1,100 housing completions in 2013/14 to 1,800 completions in 2017/18.

Investing in housing is not just about volumes. It is about ensuring we have the right type of housing in the right locations. We need to work together to:

  • Ensure the necessary infrastructure is in place for the major developments, including Carlisle Southern Link Road to unlock development of 10,000 new homes at St Cuthbert’s Garden Village and infrastructure for other major developments. The recent agreement of a £4.5million package of improvements to the A590 by Ulverston will help unlock plans for over 1,000 houses there as will the £134 million of HIF resource for the Carlisle Southern Link Road (CSLR) to unlock delivery of St Cuthbert’s Garden Village
  • Increase the supply of affordable housing especially in rural areas of high demand in South Lakeland and Eden
  • Expand the range and mix of housing, to appeal to all especially different groups of working age Work on attracting a wider range of housebuilders and investors to be active in the county and to explore different construction techniques/delivery models such as Modern Methods of Construction on major new developments.
  • Ensure that new housing is built to high design and environmental standards.

CASE STUDY: St Cuthbert’s Garden Village

The largest single proposed development in Cumbria is St Cuthbert’s Garden Village to the south of Carlisle. This will be one of the largest new garden communities to be built across England. The full development is expected to take place over 30 years, providing around 10,000 new homes, associated employment areas and community facilities, including large areas of green infrastructure. A Masterplan Framework was completed in October 2020 and Carlisle City Council is currently undertaking further detailed and technical evidence in a range of areas to underpin the St Cuthbert’s Local plan. Work is also underway to support landowners and developers in early delivery of some sites ahead of the Local Plan being adopted. Find out more at: https://www.stcuthbertsgv.co.uk/.

Planning permission was granted for the Carlisle Southern Link Road in October 2020. Detailed design work followed that grant of permission, and enabling works started on site in November 2021. The main works for the scheme are due to start in Spring 2022. Find out more at: www.cumbria.gov.uk/cslr.

Photo of a hand holding a map of St. Cuthberts

Other ambitious housing plans are being considered in Penrith and in the south part of Cumbria around Barrow’s Marina Village and in Ulverston.

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