‘Ghetto’ fears see housing plans for village

PUBLISHED: 12:00 31 May 2018 | UPDATED: 15:41 01 June 2018

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Changes have been made to affordable housing plans in Somerset after concerns were raised by villagers and councillors.

Wedmore Parish Council had objected to Acorn Property Group’s plans to build 55 homes south of The Lerburne.

More than 20 of these homes are earmarked for affordable housing, but the council and neighbours raised questions about the lack of ‘integration’ with the rest of the development.

Villager Trevor Prideaux agreed there needed to be more integration, but admits the ‘importance’ of affordable housing for the village.

He said: “I live close to the site and freely admit I had been against it when it was initially put forward three years ago, as the land is green field.

“However, I recognise the importance of building affordable housing and am resigned to this site being developed, and now want to ensure it is for the community’s gain and not just the developers.

“Affordable housing is so important, particularly for the younger occupants of Wedmore to enable them to stay in the village, if they would like to, when they are older.

“These homes, therefore, should be fully integrated instead of the potential for a ghetto in several areas, with some very expensive outright sale homes in other sections where there is no affordable housing.”

Wedmore Parish Council had objected to the plans, but changes made by Acorn to ensure the affordable homes would be indistinguishable from the marketable houses have eased concerns.

Clerk Rodney Pring said: “The parish council objected to the application by Acorn on the grounds the affordable housing proposed at Cross Farm was not sufficiently integrated with the marketable housing, and the majority of traffic entering and leaving the development would be using The Lerburne which is a narrow road leading to The Borough rather than the preferred route via Combe Batch Rise.

“The planning officer seemed satisfied with the proposals and council members were generally in agreement.

“There was a suggestion part of the affordable element should be moved elsewhere on the site, and the access situation had still not been addressed.”

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