Plans for 35 homes near M5 REFUSED persmission

The homes were to be built on the B3140 in East Brent

The homes were to be built on the B3140 in East Brent - Credit: Focus on Design

Plans for several dozen homes in a small village near the M5 in Somerset have been thrown out due to their “contrived” and “poor quality” design.

Strongvox Homes applied to build up 35 homes on the B3140 Brent Road in East Brent, a short distance from the Sedgemoor services, north of Junction 22 of the motorway.

The Taunton-based developer – which is currently constructing the Cricketers Farm development in Nether Stowey – intended to deliver a number of affordable homes within the site along with public green space at the southern edge.

But Sedgemoor District Council has turned down the proposals, criticising the placement of the affordable homes and ruling the development would “encroach” into the open countryside.

The site lies at the western edge of the village, near the junction with Hill Lane and the entrance to Haley Engineering.

Of the 35 homes proposed for the site (which would have been accessed from Brent Road), 14 would be affordable – the equivalent of 40 per cent, far exceeding the council’s target of 30 per cent for any new development of ten homes or more.

The council refused the plans through the delegated power of its planning officers, rather than a public decision made by its planning committee.

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Stuart Houlet, the council’s assistant director for inward investment and growth, identified the following five reasons for the plans to be turned down:

  • The development would result in “unacceptable encroachment into the countryside”, causing a “detrimental impact on the character and appearance” of the village
  • The affordable housing is laid out in a “contrived” manner, resulting in a “poor quality of design” and a lack of integration with the other homes
  • The developer has failed to ensure there would not be a “significant impact” on local archaeology
  • The homes would harm local heritage assets since it is out of scale with “identified local housing need”
  • The developer has provided “insufficient information” about how the risk of localised flooding would be mitigated
  • A separate development of 40 homes was recently approved on Old Brent Road at the other end of the village, following a successful appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.

Strongvox Homes has put forward plans for a further 40 homes in the neighbouring village of Lympsham – though a decision on this matter is still pending.

The proposed site for the homes

The proposed site for the homes - Credit: Google