Villagers’ concerns ‘ignored’ as council gives green light for retirement development

PUBLISHED: 12:16 14 November 2018

The houses will be built on Cheddar Road in Wedmore. Picture: Google

The houses will be built on Cheddar Road in Wedmore. Picture: Google

Archant

A plan to build retirement homes, which upset villagers, has been approved by Sedgemoor District Council.

The council’s development committee has given the green light to a plan to build 11 retirement homes in Wedmore, as well as a manager’s office, access and associated infrastructure.

The homes will be built to the north of Holdenhurst on Cheddar Road in Wedmore.

The development will include nine two-bed homes, one three-bed home and one four-bed home. Ten of the houses will have two storeys, with one bungalow included in the plan.

The approved development comes in the wake of two failed applications submitted to the council by property developer Cedar Blue Homes.

Amendments to the application, including a significant reduction in the number of homes proposed and the inclusion of local architects Boon Brown to provide a ‘bespoke’ plan for the area, led the council to approve the development.

The scheme was met with some opposition from villagers who say the development does nothing to increase the amount of affordable housing available in the area.

Kate Durston, planning secretary for The Isle of Wedmore Society Group, a group which promotes conservation in the area, said: “The society is not convinced this type of development would necessarily help to address the housing needs of the village.”

A report submitted by the parish council identified affordable housing as one of the community’s ‘main priorities’.

It said: “Both of the previous applications included some direct provision for affordable housing, this does not.”

Cedar Blue Homes, which develops properties exclusively for retired pensioners, describes itself on its website as a designer of ‘luxury properties in desirable locations’.

Cllr Polly Costello, of Sedgemoor District Council, who opposed the development, said: “These are not the homes we need in Wedmore.

“Sadly, it appears local opinion is being ignored.

“A recent housing survey found the community needed more affordable housing and sheltered accommodation, not more high-end, exclusive, expensive homes.

“I simply can’t see how the committee can grant this application.”

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