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South Lakeland's Local Plan takes a step forward

Developers are now submitting requests to build on 88 sites in South Cumbria earmarked to create 1000 new affordable homes and 1000 better-paid jobs in the area.

South Lakeland District Council is one of only a few councils in the country to find land for development, rather than waiting for developers to propose sites.

It's hoped it'll meet a housing and job crisis: there are around 3000 families waiting for a housing association home in South Lakeland and many more who can't find an affordable home.

The charity Shelter says fewer than 3% of properties in the area are affordable for families. Less than 1% of people in South Cumbria are unemployed but many are on the minimum wage and can't afford high Lake District prices.

Of the 88 sites, 20 will be for businesses, the rest for housing. Of those sites, 4.2% are brownfield while 95.8% are greenfield. Environmental groups feel that building on greenfield sites is wrong and will damage local habitats.

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Full Report: Council extends South Lakeland housing scheme

People at risk of becoming homeless in the South Lakes are being helped by a plan to make more rented properties available.

South Lakeland District Council is more than doubling the number of homes it leases from private landlords.

They are being let out to tenants who could otherwise be excluded from private sector renting, because they are on benefits.

Fiona Marley Paterson reports.

Housing scheme offers reassurance for landlords

Mary Giles is a landlord in Ulverston.

She was put off renting to people on benefits after bad experiences with tenants not paying the rent and wrecking the house.

Mary Giles is a landlord in Ulverston Credit: ITV News

She had to evict a tenant who stopped paying the rent, and when she got in to the property it was so badly ruined she stood in the living room and cried because she had spent 6 months making it a nice place to live.

This scheme has given her more assurances because the council guarantees the rent and returns the property in the same state. She says she has some wonderful tenants on DSS now.

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Council welcomes expansion of housing scheme

Councillor Sue Sanderson, Portfolio Holder for Environment and People at South Lakeland District Council, has welcomed the news that the council's scheme to provide affordable housing is expanding.

“The Social Lettings Scheme is proving successful. Renting homes for the homeless or people threatened with homelessness is an important provision.

"The expansion of the scheme will allow the council to fulfil its target of ensuring that the number of homeless households living in temporary accommodation is no more than 20 at any one time. It will also help landlords and could bring empty properties back into use.”

'No DSS' blamed for housing crisis in South Lakeland

South Lakeland District Council has more than doubled its social lettings scheme because of a shortage of private rented housing in the area.

Many landlords state 'no DSS', excluding people on housing benefit, and many are also thought to be too expensive.

For the last 18 months the council has been running a scheme where the council becomes the tenant, encouraging landlords to rent to people on benefits with the added security that the council will maintain the property.

There is now money to extend the scheme from 16 to 50 homes.

Windermere improvements will "provide excellent new facilities"

"This is a great example of sustainable development. It will provide excellent new facilities for the public and visitors. It will encourage people to make less local car journeys and spend more time on and around the lake.”

– Councillor Peter Thornton, leader of South Lakeland District Council

The capacity of Braithwaite Fold car park will increase from 383 to 720 spaces and electric bike and car charging points will be installed.

“This is a place people can come and leave their car while they explore the area on foot, by boat or bike.

"It will help bring access to the lake to ordinary families as well as attracting visitors to the whole area.

“It’s a major investment and a vote of confidence for the area. We believe it will bring economic benefits not just to Windermere and Bowness but also to other attractions in the area.”

– Michael Keane, SLDC Assistant Director of Strategic Planning
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