Village group calls for 60-home development plan to be scaled back

PUBLISHED: 13:00 30 June 2018

The houses would be built next to Wedmore First School. Picture: Google

The houses would be built next to Wedmore First School. Picture: Google

Google

Applications for almost 60 new homes in Wedmore have been submitted.

Strongvox Homes wants to build 40 homes to the east of Wedmore First School and 18 opposite at Westholme Farm, both in Blackford Road.

The larger site would be made up of properties including two-bedroom apartments and three-bedroom bungalows, with 70 per cent sold on the open market and the remainder affordable housing.

The Westholme Farm site would include a mix of two, three and four-bedroom houses as well as apartments. Access to both developments could be created in Blackford Road.

Although both sites are named as ‘preferred’ housing sites in the village’s draft neighbourhood plan, Bob Sellwood, chairman of the plan’s steering group, says the number of proposed homes should be lower.

He said: “The draft Wedmore neighbourhood plan identifies both Westholme Farm and the land east of the first school as preferred sites for housing.

“However, it is a matter of concern both applications conflict with the detail of the emerging neighbourhood plan in that, to the east of the school, the plan is proposing 35 homes on a smaller site, whereas the developer is proposing 40 homes on a larger site.

“At Westholme Farm, this is the same site as proposed in the plan but the developer is proposing 18 new homes rather than 16.

“A lower number is preferred due to its proximity to listed buildings and the conservation area.”

The applications follow Acorn Property Group’s proposal for 55 homes south of The Lerburne, although councillors and residents expressed concern over the development’s lack of integration in the village.

The Strongvox application’s design and access and planning statements say: “Strongvox Homes has actively engaged with Sedgemoor District Council, Wedmore Parish Council, Wedmore Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group and the local community over the course of the past 14 months.

“Wedmore is a sustainable village which benefits from a wide range of services and facilities which not only serve the residents of Wedmore but act as a focal point for the surrounding rural hinterland.”

Online comments can be made on both applications until July 12.

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