Plans for 60 homes near Cheddar Reservoir approved
- Credit: Bellway Homes South West
Dozens of new homes will be built near Cheddar Reservoir after new plans were approved by district councillors.
Bellway Homes South West put forward plans to construct 60 houses on the northern side of Hellier’s Lane, which lies to the south of the reservoir.
There were numerous local objections to the scheme from both parish councils and residents, who feared the new estate could be isolated from the rest of the village.
But Sedgemoor District Council’s development committee took less than an hour to wave the plans through when it met on May 25.
The land being developed lies between Hellier’s Lane (which will serve as the main access for vehicles) and Middlemoor Lane (which will be accessible by a new footpath from the site).
Outline permission for up to 67 homes was granted to Cheddar LVA LLP in October 2017, but delays in signing legal agreements between the developer and the council has meant a long wait for detailed proposals to come forward.
The site is already being advertised on Bellway Homes’ website as Peregrine View, promising a range of two, three- and four-bedroom properties with “beautiful public open spaces, as well as attractive architecture.”
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But Cheddar resident Steve Stotesbury warned that the site’s location at the western edge of the village could lead to social problems – claiming that the neighbouring Hythe Wood estate was already beset by drug abuse and antisocial behaviour.
He said: “This development will have an impact for decades to come, and I hope to persuade the committee to adapt these plans to prevent decades of regret.
“In your Local Plan, you say development should integrate well with the existing settlement, with amenities being within walking distance.
“This proposal will add 60 homes next to an estate which is already experiencing problems, and further away from local amenities.”
Cheddar Parish Council said the materials being proposed were “not in keeping” with the village’s existing architecture and said it would damage the view from the nearby Mendip Hills area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB).
Compton Bishop Parish Council added that there would be “an increased risk of accidents” on the busy A38 and A371 through the village if the homes were approved.
Rhian Powell, planning manager at Bellway Homes South West, responded that the development would deliver 18 new affordable homes, which would be separated into clusters to prevent any such issues from arising.
She said: “These affordable homes are arranged in four clusters. We comply with the Section 106 agreement and their design is indistinguishable from the market housing.
“The designs are based on house types which our customers love, and we have had positive feedback elsewhere. However, we are willing to consider alternative materials as part of any conditions.”
Councillor Alistair Hendry welcomed the development, arguing the affordable housing would meet local needs and the traffic calming measures promised by the developer would make all residents safer.
He said: “We can’t use antisocial behaviour or drug problems as a reason to turn this down – that is a matter for the police.
“The land easily accommodates the amount of houses which the applicant has asked for. I don’t see a problem with this as it stands.”
After less than 45 minutes’ debate, the committee voted unanimously to approve the plans.