Villages are named as key sites for new jobs

THOUSANDS of jobs and houses are expected in Sedgemoor as part of a major revamp of the district over the next 20 years

THOUSANDS of jobs and houses are expected in Sedgemoor as part of a major revamp of the district over the next 20 years. Cheddar, Axbridge and Wedmore have been identified as key areas for housing, industrial estates and business parks. Over the next few weeks residents will be asked where they want to see the new developments, through a district-wide survey. Other issues covered in the questionnaire, which will be posted through residents' letterboxes, include parking facilities, where affordable homes should be, and ways of protecting the environment.According to Government estimates, Sedgemoor should plan for 8,400 new houses and 7,500 new jobs in the next two decades. Some houses are already being built in Bridgwater but the council will need to find sites for 5,000 dwellings and will be looking to develop rural areas, including Cheddar, Axbridge and Wedmore. Cheddar has been named as a potential area for 'brownfield' redevelopment. Brownfield sites are areas which have previously been built on and the council wants to build 50 per cent of the new housing on such sites in Cheddar, Burnham and Highbridge. In a report put together by the council, the key issues in the rural parts of Sedgemoor outside of Bridgwater, are access to housing, employment and facilities such as leisure centres, shops and cinemas. Larger villages such as Cheddar are said to have a good range of facilities, whereas smaller places such as Axbridge and Wedmore have only 'modest' facilities, poor access to public transport and fewer employment opportunities. The council wants to see more job creation outside Bridgwater, Burnham and Highbridge, including farming and land based work, new businesses and leisure and tourism development. Surveys need to be returned by August 13. For more details call Sedgemoor District Council on 01278 436436.

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