Plans for 100 new homes near Cheddar approved

The proposed site of the 100 new homes, near Cheddar

The proposed site of the 100 new homes, near Cheddar - Credit: Google Street View

Nearly 100 new homes will be built on the edge of the Mendip Hills after plans were approved.

Sedgemoor District Council voted in July 2018 to grant Waddeton Park Ltd outline permission to build 96 homes on the Round Oak Farm site east of the A371 Upper New Road, in Cheddar.

Taylor Wimpey Bristol subsequently purchased the site and submitted amended plans for the same number of homes.

The council’s development committee voted unanimously in Bridgwater on this morning (January 11) to allow the development to proceed – meaning construction could begin before the year is out.

Taylor Wimpey is already advertising the site on its official website as Oak Park, with homes ranging from one- to four-bedroom in size.

The developer is already constructing homes on two other nearby sites – the Mead Farm development on Harding Drive in Banwell, and the Rose Banks development on the A371 Portway in Wells.

Philip Court, the developer’s technical director, said electric vehicle charging points would be provided for all 96 homes.

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He said: “The layout mirrors the master-plan and provides ecological benefits agreed at the outline stage. The density [of the development] is very low.

“The retained and enhanced features, such as the proposed community orchard, help to provide a soft edge for the development.”

Plans for 96 homes on the Round Oak Farm site on the A371 Upper New Road in Cheddar

How the Cheddar homes could be laid out - Credit: Clancy Design Services

Clive Panchaud, who chairs the planning committee on Cheddar Parish Council, said additional steps needed to be taken to protect residents at the northern edge of the site.

He said: “The emergency vehicle access onto the B3135 Axbridge Road to the north of the site must be gated.

“Forty-four-tonne quarry lorries use this road as part of their one-way system. It has no pavement, so it is dangerous to both pedestrians and cyclists.

“I do not see an agreement for money for the magic roundabout, which continues to be ignored by both this council and the county council.”

The magic roundabout lies at the northernmost tip of the site, being a complex junction where the A371 and B3135 intersect with Shipham Road heading into the Mendip Hills area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB).

Planning officer Adrian Noon said both the Oak Park site and three others would end up “making contributions towards feasibility studies to provide a way forward for the magic roundabout.”

Councillor Paul Fineran – whose Cheddar and Shipham ward includes the site – objected to the plans, stating in writing that the development’s design “fails spectacularly” and the homes would not meet local need.

Members of the development committee were slightly more sympathetic while acknowledging that the granting of outline permission made it difficult to secure any meaningful changes.

Cllr Liz Scott added: “I welcome the layout – the features that have been embraced within the development looks very good.

“With regard to the gated emergency exit, I agree with the parish council that this definitely needs tightening up. It is a very narrow road and it is used by the quarry lorries.”

Cllr Mike Facey concurred: “I realise the parish is not completely happy with it, but the developer appears to have gone on as much as it can do to accommodate people’s different feelings on it.”

The committed voted unanimously to approve the plans after around an hour’s debate.