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Friday, 18 April 2014

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Ulverston mansion homes plans ‘not good enough’ fears

MOVES to renovate a historic Ulverston site have been criticised, with conservationists and councillors branding them “not good enough”.

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APPLICATION CONCERNS Stone Cross Mansion and, inset, Councillor Phil Lister SHEENAH ALCOCK

Property development firm Charles Church, which is owned by Persimmon Homes, has applied to build 20 self-contained flats and 52 new houses at Stone Cross Mansion, a listed building which lies within a conservation area.

At a meeting of Ulverston Town Council, held on Monday night, members voted to recommend that SLDC reject the planning application.

The decision was near unanimous, with two councillors opting to abstain because they also sit of the SLDC planning committee.

The concerns raised included objections to modifying the mansion, a lack of available information on the new build housing and the environmental impact.

Councillor Phil Lister said: “It’s not strictly a planning matter to say this isn’t good enough, but this is isn’t good enough. The apartments are too small and it would destroy a listed building. And we don’t know enough about the houses. We have no technical information.”

Councillor Norman Bishop-Rowe said the development could lead to flooding and said no consideration had been given to local wildlife.

In response to the application, former members of Ulverston Civic Society have decided to reform the group in order to advise on future proposed changes to conservation areas.

Member Peter Lowe said: “The scale of the development, the poor quality of design and type of new houses and the lack of thought put into the restoration of the mansion house is really quite unacceptable in its present form.

“As the scheme currently stands, the setting of this important historic house in the conservation area will be totally ruined.

“Persimmon do not seem to be viewing this site as a heritage asset but purely as a new build site from which to make a large profit at the expense of the mansion’s parkland setting.”

The civic society will have a formal involvement in the planning process, with SLDC obligated to consult with them before making decision.

The group will hold a public meeting at the Kings Arms in King Street at 7pm on Wednesday March 5.

Mark Cook, managing director for Charles Church Lancashire, said: “We monitor all the responses and are looking at our plans in the light of comments made by all consultees, including English Heritage and the local authority planning and conservation officers, as well as members of the public. Where possible, their feedback will be taken into consideration to inform the proposals.”

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