Specialist homes development refused by council

PUBLISHED: 11:00 25 August 2014

Archant

'NECESSARY' homes for the elderly have been rejected because there were not close enough links with the affordable houses, a council has ruled.

Blue Cedar Homes wanted to build 20 properties at Holdenhurst in Wedmore.

This included nine specialist adaptable homes for the elderly, eight affordable homes and three open market homes.

This was the third application submitted by the company, as the first was withdrawn and the second dismissed at appeal.

The planning inspector said in May 2013 the open market and affordable homes were not integrated enough.

Blue Cedar Homes then submitted a new application with an amended layout.

Sedgemoor’s housing policy and development manager Duncan Harvey said it would fulfil an ‘unmet housing need’ in the village.

However, Sedgemoor District Council’s development committee decided not to grant planning permission as it felt the affordable houses were still too separated from the others.

The plans were described by some objectors as ‘divisive’, with the council receiving 99 comments on the application in total.

Marylin Johnstone said: “The miniscule changes made in the recent re-application… still do not address the fundamental lack of integration of the ‘affordable’ homes with the ‘private luxury houses’.”

But others said there is a need for the development in the village as it would enable elderly people in the area to move into the specialist homes.

Edward Elliman, supporting the plans, said: “The provision in the centre of the village of affordable housing for local people, plus specialist housing for older people wishing to downsize, remains necessary for our parish.”

Blue Cedar Homes has yet to decide whether to appeal the council’s decision.

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