Crucial support to transform the south of Carlisle with up to 10,000 new homes, schools, businesses and roads is being sought.
Carlisle City Council is looking far into the future with their vision of how the city could look in 30 years.
It has applied for Government funding to develop a masterplan for land to the south of Carlisle, in the Carleton, Durdar and Cummersdale areas, which are earmarked for substantial development from 2025 onwards as part of a so-called Garden City.
The council believes the Carlisle South area presents an opportunity to provide up to 10,000 new homes.
Development of these houses would not start until a proper masterplan is in place, which will not happen until at least 2019. It would take between 20 and 30 years to complete.
The majority of the land in this area is currently privately owned.
And to support this housing development, the council says there is a need for primary and secondary schools, employment and retail sites, community facilities and open space in the Carlisle South area.
Other infrastructure, including highways and transport, is also being looked into.
The council says the potential for a road linking junction 42 of the M6 with the southern end of the A689 ring road will be an integral part of the scheme.
It is thought this could improve important links between the east and west of the county at a time when west Cumbria is seeing unprecedented levels of investment in the energy sector.
Carlisle City Council has already secured £250,000 from the Homes and Community Agency and is now bidding for funding from the Government’s Garden City programme to develop its plan for Carlisle South. Further Government support will be vital in pushing the landmark scheme to its next stage.
Jane Meek, corporate director of economic development at the council, said it was important to plan Carlisle South properly, rather than by piecemeal development because large scale infrastructure was critical.
She said: “We’re seeking funding from Government to help us plan out really carefully what this area should look like. If we let it develop naturally we might end up with just housing or housing in the wrong place. We want good things that are important from the city’s point of view like green places and schools.”
Mrs Meek stressed health and well-being and fostering communities were also an important part of the development.
The masterplan will include assessments of the landscapes, where green spaces should be, what community facilities and how many schools are needed, potential business and retail development sites and routes for roads.
Some areas of Carlisle South are within flood zones as they are in close proximity to the rivers Petteril and Caldew.
Part of the masterplan would look into how to alleviate flooding downstream and develop the area in such a way that flooding is not an issue.
The council should know by Christmas whether it has secured the funding from the Garden City programme.
“This is the start of the journey,” said Mrs Meek. “It’s a journey that will take us a number of years to complete.”
The masterplan looks ahead beyond the Carlisle District Local Plan 2015-2030 that was approved at a recent council meeting.
A council spokeswoman said: “The plan has been consulted upon at every step of the way as it has emerged, responding to such consultations by refining and amending the policies and allocations within. We would like to thank all who have participated in the process and ultimately helped to shape the now adopted plan.
“Attention will now turn to preparing a small number of additional planning documents to complement the Local Plan, the progress of which, including opportunities to have your say, can be followed at www.carlisle.gov.uk/planning-policy.”
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