Up to 60 new homes planned in village for Hinkley workforce

The proposed site of 60 homes and a community hall on Brookside Road, Combwich

The proposed site of 60 homes and a community hall on Brookside Road, Combwich - Credit: Google

Dozens of new homes and a community hall could soon be built on the main road to a new nuclear power station in Somerset if plans are approved.

Construction is progressing at great speed at the Hinkley Point C site on the west Somerset coast, with a further 3,000 workers expected to arrive on site in the coming months as EDF Energy aims to get the new power station operational by 2026.

The Land Promotion Group has put forward new proposals for up to 60 homes and a community venue on Brookside Road in the small village of Combwich – which lies on the main road connecting the power station to the nearby village of Cannington and the A39 from Bridgwater.

Sedgemoor District Council is expected to make a decision on the proposals by the early summer.

The Land Promotion Group – which is based in South Brent, on the southern edge of the Dartmoor National Park – intends to build homes either side of Brookside Road, which lies at the western edge of the village.

The bulk of the new homes and the community hall would be on the north side, with a view to possibly providing a new road link between Brookside Road and School Lane, as well as additional car parking for Otterhampton Primary School.

Of the 60 homes proposed, a total of 24 would be affordable – the equivalent of 40 per cent, exceeding the council’s normal target of 30 per cent affordable housing for any development of ten homes or more.

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A spokesman for the developer said: “We want to use the land effectively and efficiently to provide a mix of dwelling types and sizes and to create an attractive built environment.

“We want to ensure suitable amenity to adjoining dwellings, to consider nature conservation interests, and to provide safe and attractive areas of public realm.”

The council’s planning officers refused outline plans for the same number homes through their delegated powers back in March 2021, citing seven reasons, which were:

  • The development’s “prominent and unjustified nature” amounted to “over-development” of the surrounding area, having a negative visual impact
  • Too little information has been provided about how the development may meet a local need for housing in Combwich
  • Too little research has been undertaken into the homes’ impact on local heritage assets
  • The developer has not shown how it would prevent “substantial harm” to listed buildings near the River Parrett
  • Too little information has been provided about how the new access road would be safe and provide enough visibility for both motorists and pedestrians
  • There is a lack of data about the development’s impact on local ecology
  • The developer has not sufficiently mitigated flood risk or demonstrated that the homes will be “safe for the development’s lifetime” (estimated at 100 years)

These proposals come as EDF Energy has announced its intention to provide “significant investment” in new accommodation for its workforce at Hinkley Point C, to reflect the “workforce uplift” of an additional 3,000 people as construction proceeds.

The company has already pledged to provide 480 additional beds across its two existing campuses (one on the power station site, one in Bridgwater), and is aiming to provide at least 360 new pitches at three camp sites near the site – Mill Farm in Fiddington, Moorhouse Farm near Holford and Quantock Lakes near Nether Stowey.

As part of a new legal agreement with EDF, around £1 million will also be provided for affordable housing schemes in the power station catchment area – with £410,000 of this allocated to the Cricketers Farm site in Nether Stowey.

A decision on the Combwich proposals is expected to be made within the next three months.

Plans for 60 homes and community hall on Brookside Road in Combwich

How the development could be laid out - Credit: GJR