Copeland second happiest place in the country

Copeland named ‘second happiest place in the country’

DELIGHTED residents in Copeland have welcomed the news that the borough has been named the second happiest place in the country.

Findings revealed by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show Copeland people ranked their happiness levels at 8.2 out of 10, with only Rushmoor in Hampshire – 8.35 – placing higher.

Copeland mayor Mike Starkie wasn’t shocked to learn his borough was one of the most joyful.

He said: “I’m pleased – but not surprised – that Copeland ranks so highly in this national survey.

“I’ve lived here all my life and, although I’ve travelled around with work, I would not want to have lived or brought my family up anywhere else.

“We have our challenges here, as all areas do, but with beautiful scenery on our doorstep, fascinating history, world-class industry, and great folk, there’s a lot to be happy about.”

Overall, British people rated their life satisfaction at 7.7 out of 10 and happiness at 7.5 out of 10. Anxiety scored at 2.9 out of 10.

For happiness, Allerdale ranked at 7.5 out of 10, Carlisle scored 7.2 and Barrow-in-Furness came out with 7.6.

Gerard Richardson, of Richardson’s of Whitehaven, who ran the town’s Maritime Festivals, also agreed Copeland was a happy place to live.

“It’s confirmed what we’ve known for years,” he said. “You tell me what there’s not to like, we’ve got a lovely, varied coastline as well as access to the Lake District. Many parts of Copeland are in the Lake District.

“There’s plentiful employment, good walks and towns. It’s a beautiful place and people sometimes struggle to see it. You’ve got to put aside your concerns over transport or infrastructure.

“There’s no high rise developments and people crammed in, the whole place is lovely.

“At one time people might have said retail was a downside but with the internet that has changed.”

He added that if the Moorside nuclear project was confirmed, ensuring job security, then Copeland could move into first place.

Local families can buy affordable plot

Flosh Meadows management are to discuss the recent national advice on how some local people can purchase an “Affordable Plot” this will be a plot with a 20% reduction under certain conditions (List Nos 2, 3, 5 & 9 below particularly apply)

NaCSBA’s 10-point manifesto sets agenda for new government

NaCSBA’s 10-point manifesto sets agenda for new government

The National Custom and Self Build Association(NaCSBA) has put together a 10-point manifesto which spells out the challenges that Theresa May’s government must take on board to help it meet the housing crisis.

The manifesto lists the key points that are essential for a better housing market, with particular reference to how self and custom build, through the Right to Build, can contribute to alleviating the housing shortage.

 NaCSBA’s 10 Point Manifesto

1 Raise public awareness of the Right to Build in England (and equivalent in Scotland, Wales and NI) with a consumer campaign to help more of the 53% of adults who would like to build their own home to fulfill their ambition.

2 Introduce a ‘Help to Build’ equity loan scheme for affordable self build homes to help more people get on the housing ladder and deliver a more diversified supply of new homes.

3 Release more public sector land for the creation of serviced custom and self build plots – including low cost, affordable plots.

4 Incentivise the public sector to develop custom build starter homes to accelerate delivery and extend housing choice. This could be through access to low cost funding.

5 Allow communities to use exception site planning permissions for custom and self-build homeswhere they are for local people, key workers and others who satisfy a ‘local connection test’.

6 Incentivise landowners to create and sell serviced plots direct to market by equalising the tax status with that for selling land in a single transaction to the volume housebuilders.

7 Introduce tax relief for gifts of land and property for community-led housebuilding.

8 Continue to exempt small scale custom and self-build developments from town hall taxes intended for the big speculative housebuilders – and ensure this is available across the UK.

9 Encourage rural authorities to allow people who meet a local connection test to build an affordable home so they can stay in the area (retained at a discount to market value in perpetuity).

10 Simplify the process for community groups to buy land and get planning permission for homes, including preferential bidder status on the sale of public sector land.

“Growing the custom and self build sector will help to democratise housebuilding, giving local communities more control over who gets to build what and where,” said Michael Holmes, NaCSBA Chair.

“Communities will have the ability to meet local housing demand, ensuring that future generations can afford to become homeowners in the area in which they live and work and that there is suitable housing for older people.”

Editor’s comment

With a new Housing and Planning Minister in power, it’s vital that Right To Build stays firmly on the agenda. Brexit will dominate every minute of this cabinet’s tenure, but it’s crucial that the industry builds on the successes made in the last few years. Housing must remain on the agenda. What’s interesting with this manifesto is the emphasis on affordability – this is the real hurdle custom build must leap to truly get the rubber stamp of all local authorities.

Lake District is awarded world heritage status

Lake District is UK’s first national park to win world heritage status

The Lake District National Park, World Heritage Site

The Lake District national park has been listed as a world heritage site, joining the Taj Mahal, the Great Wall of China and the Grand Canyon in being given one of the highest accolades on the planet.

With its rolling hills, spectacular mountains and stunning lakes, the site not only finds itself in illustrious company, but also becomes the UK’s first national park to be granted the status

“It is a unique part of the world that combines a vibrant farming community with thousands of archaeological sites and structures that give us an amazing glimpse into our past.

“This decision will undoubtedly elevate the position of the Lake District internationally, boosting tourism and benefiting local communities and businesses.”

About 18 million people presently visit the Lake District each year, spending a total of £1.2bn and providing about 18,000 jobs. These statistics will undoubtedly increase as a result of this wonderful & well deserved world heritage  allocation.

BTW Flosh Meadows self Build serviced plot site is only 1.3 miles (2.1 km) by road to the The lake District National Park World Heritage site or you can walk the (red) 2.5 miles internationally used Alfred Wainwright Coast to Coast route from Cleator up and over Dent Fell then into The lake District National Park.

Do I have “The Right to Build”

The government has passed legislation in a bid to make more plots available for people who within their own budget and to their own design and size want to create their own bespoke homes.

An excellent article can be found at describing all matters relating to your “Right to Build” on a serviced self & custom build plot.

Dear Neighbour 2017 June

Dear Neighbour

Subject: Application for planning permission at ‘Top Meadow’ Flosh Meadows, Cleator

I attach an illustrative drawing which has been submitted on our behalf to Copeland Borough Council planning department, as part of a new application.

In response to the considerable number of local families continuing to show an interest in our self build site we consider the drawing shows a suitable area which can be considered an executive location for self build serviced plots.

We appreciate that most people we are informing of our plans, have in the past built their own homes close to Flosh Meadows and will understandably have considerable sympathy and support for others wishing to do the same. Additionally, we are continuing to add local builders and suppliers to our list which we will make available to plot purchasers. Flosh Meadows development will bring work and revenue into our locality benefitting our community, local businesses and churches etc.

We are in continual discussion with the Homes & Community Agency (HCA) who with the Self Build Portal and their still developing ‘Toolkit for Local Authorities planning departments’ are encouraging more house building and in our case ‘more self & custom build serviced plots’.

The above mentioned ‘Toolkit etc’ recommends amongst many other matters the use of ‘plot passports’ which gives advice on design and materials for self build.

Flosh Meadows Self Build site was initially designed with a substantial amount of today’s ‘Toolkit etc’ elements and we are in the process of conforming even more substantially.

Flosh Meadows ‘Top Meadow plots’ area is designed to reduce any overlooking of existing properties and especially the cemetery & grotto including a 10m “No Build” zone for such as garden sheds and similar from the cemetery boundary and will always exceed the separation distances from existing homes required by Copeland Borough Council. Top Meadow plot & home owners will also be expected to reduce all noise when the Grotto is being used for special occasions.

Indeed, all new family homes at Flosh Meadows, including Top Meadow are further away from the cemetery grounds than other homes that have been in place for a considerable number of years.

We would be happy to discuss our plans with you; please contact us by any means suitable to you.

Richard & Betty Mulholland

Note: we have updated the drawing for our web site to show relevant distances from cemetery & Grotto to new and existing houses, car park and hotel.



Cumbria “Best Place to Live” says National Body

Cumbria is the best place in England to start a family, a new survey suggests.

To mark International Children’s Day, the online estate agent eMoov and the charity Hope for Children ranked England’s counties based on four criteria.

Points were awarded on the affordability of house prices, what percentage of pupils achieved level four and level five in their primary school Sats tests, average life expectancy and the level of victim-based crime.

Cumbria scored 18.10 in the survey for its mix of affordable property, high level of performance in primary schools, long life expectancy and relatively low crime rate. Continue reading “Cumbria “Best Place to Live” says National Body”

Site owners wish to reduce plot numbers

The site owners Richard & Betty are discussing with Copeland Borough Council Planning Department to reduce the number of plots from 28 to 20.

In very early discussion it appears that Copeland will agree to the reduction of plots but further details and meetings are required.

The road layout will remain as seen in our drawing it simply means there will be fewer but somewhat larger family home sized plots. We will show an up to date layout plan as soon as possible.

Please use our contact form if you need any further information at this time.

Planning application 2014

To encourage debate on our application we are holding a public meeting at the Ennerdale Country House Hotel, Cleator on Saturday 07 June 2014 from 12:00 to 5:00PM. Please come along to this free event and tell us your thoughts on our proposals.

We formally applied for planning permission in week ending 02 May 2014 to Copeland Borough Council for twenty two self build plots and six affordable homes and are in continued discussions with planning officers on all matters.

Note:  on 12 May Copeland Borough Council informed us that we will should expect a decision by 30 July.

The proposal is to provide a number of Self and Custom Build serviced plots for local families to build their own homes at Flosh Meadows, Cleator.

Our wish is to encourage the build of high quality individual properties within a design framework with all homes incorporating high specification sustainable technology.

The objective of this community event is to make you aware of our proposals and to give you the opportunity to make your views known and allow persons to register their interest in the scheme.

We look forward to seeing you at this free event from 12:00 to 5:00PM on Saturday 07 June 2014 at the Ennerdale Country House Hotel.

Further information can be found throughout this web site but in particular on pages:

Planning application-Let’s go for it

For more information and to pre-register for the event (not required but helpful) please complete our Contact Form

Self Build Housing will support Cleator

Press article Saturday 19 July 2014 webOn Saturday 19 July a wonderful write up on Flosh Meadows site by Jenny Barwise in the News & Star evening paper came out of the blue.
We sent  a thank you to Jenny which we show below.
It is very pleasing that the wishes of people within this local area are being listened to by our local councilors and of course Copeland planning Officers; not all Councils planning departments look on self build favourably.

Continue reading “Self Build Housing will support Cleator”

Planning application – Let’s go for it

floridaRichard & Betty have decided that the time is right to put in a planning application for Self Build, now more frequently called Custom Build for their proposed development at Flosh Meadows.

Copeland Borough Council in late 2012 recommended to the Government inspector that Flosh Meadows was a suitable site for a family home development. They further recommended that the site could accept a total of 36 family homes that could be built in the immediate future i.e. 0 – 5 years.

The inspector held a public meeting at the Copeland Centre in April 2013 and in his October report agreed that Flosh Meadows should be considered for a family home development for 36 homes and could be started immediately if formal approval was given by Copeland planning committee.

Richard & Betty in March 2014 have informed in person & writing Cleator Moor Town Council, St Mary’s & St Leanord’s Church and all their immediate neighbours and many more in the Cleator area that they intend to apply for planning permission to allow the site to be offered to custom build purchasers. Continue reading “Planning application – Let’s go for it”

Government copies Flosh Meadows Business Plan !!

Grant Shapps coalition minister forSelf Build Homes’  in June 2012 has wisely copied the business plan of the Flosh Meadows, Cleator, Self Build family homes site; he recommended that more self build plots should be sold with roads and services in the close vicinity of each plot; OOOkaaay; perhaps he also had other models to follow but at Flosh Meadows, Cleator, in the wonderful area of Copeland being immediately adjacent to the Lake District National Park that was our first procedure and if allowed by our local planners it will also be our next. We build the roads & pavements, put in electric, gas, water, telephone and drains to each plot boundary and then invite plot owners to connect up and build their family homes. The owners achieve a magnificent and affordable family home and the housing stock in our area is improved with these high quality homes.

Flosh Meadows – Reasons to Develop

The original Flosh Meadows self build community at Cleator, Cumbria consists of five high quality detached family homes built in 2001. It is pleasing and supportive to the community and locality that in 2017 four of the original five self build families still live in the homes they built. The land owners & developers Betty & Richard Mulholland who live adjacent  have applied within the  Copeland Borough Council Local Development Plan to be permitted to further develop the community.

Betty & Richard are making no assumptions on future decisions; but within this website they wish to sound positive of gaining permission and will present reasons why such should be given. They fully appreciate and understand that the local planning authority decision makers and officers need to take a host of requirements into account before deciding on suitable new build sites for family homes. (2017 update: 2 parcels of land have been given planning permission)

Considerations (amongst many others) the planning authority will take into account are:
  • does the area need regenerating
  • would more homes help with the regeneration of the village
  • is there a shortage of high specification homes in the area
  • is there a shown wish for high quality homes in the village
  • are families waiting to purchase
  • is suitable safe land available for immediate development
  • is there a variety of styles and specification on offer from developers
Why Flosh Meadows should be allowed to be further developed:
  • April 2013 Copeland Borough Council recommended to Government Inspector that Flosh Meadows should be allowed to be further developed
  • December 2013 Inspector agreed to Flosh Meadows extension and Copeland Borough Council formally adopted the decision
  • Flosh Meadows has immediately available infrastructure to take additional properties N.B. foul sewage within the village is scheduled for improvement by United Utilities in 2014
  • Cleator would benefit from regeneration, in 2008 the village post office and shop closed and in 2009 a public house closed
  • it offers an immediately available shovel ready scheme which would increase the high specification & aspirational (Executive Homes) housing stock in Copeland
  • investment in the Flosh Meadows family home development would assist local growth and provide increased skills training with a subsequent increase in employment.
  • Flosh Meadows will offer high quality homes in an attractive supportive community that is served by public transport giving good access to employment, sporting, recreational, key service centres, churches, schools & other educational establishments.
Additional considerations:
  • a number of prospective self builders wish to purchase plots at Flosh Meadows if they become available
  • self builders are known to build high specifications homes
  • Flosh Meadows is outside of the flood risk area and is immediately adjacent to the village boundary
  • Flosh Meadows commenced with five self build family homes with relatives & friends in the immediate locality
  • all families who originally built (2001) occupied their family homes until one sold in 2010
  • Copeland Borough Council in the 2005 Local Plan recommended that Cleator should have 1 ha of land immediately adjacent to the A5086 at Cleator Mills for housing development to assist in the regeneration of the village.
  • the land at Cleator Mills was forced to be withdrawn in late 2005 when the Environment Agency informed Copeland Borough Council that the land was situated in the highest flood risk zone 3A, the land was further confirmed to be in the highest risk flood zone 3A in 2006 & 2012 (update 2017 Small area close to A5086 road is now in 2nd highest flood zone 2)
  • Copeland Borough Council subsequently stated that homes should not be built on a high risk flood zone and have further stated to government inspector in 2013 that the only homes allowed to be built in a high risk flood zone would be in Whitehaven
  • increased problems are being experienced in obtaining affordable insurance for homes in the high risk  flood zone 3 & 2 (flood zone 1 means that no flood risk applies),  local MP Mr. Jamie Reed when in post publicly identified this matter
  • Update 2015: permission was granted for homes on the highest risk flood zone !!
Decision makers at Copeland Borough Council are discussing & consider:
  • Copeland Borough Council Local Development Framework  working party are scheduled to consider ‘boundary change at North of Cleator’
  • Copeland Borough Council considers “self builders provide high specification properties to housing stock”
  • there is an  acknowledged shortage of high specification homes within the authority