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SOMERSET: 98 Bridgwater homes

SOMERSET: 98 Bridgwater homes

CREDIT: Google Maps.

Nearly 100 new homes could be built near the M5 in Bridgwater if plans are approved early in the new year.

Hallam Land Management and Persimmon Homes Severn Valley were given outline planning permission in July 2020 to deliver 2,000 homes between the A39 Bath Road and the Bristol to Exeter railway line – along with 1,200 sq m of retail space, leisure facilities, a new primary school and other facilities.

Numerous sections of the development site have already been built out, with the latest plans concerning 98 homes near the Willow Man sculpture at the town’s eastern edge.

Sedgemoor District Council is expected to make a decision on plans early in the new year.

The site lies between the M5 and the existing homes east of Kings Drive, stretching from the Willow Man down towards Willowdown Primary School.

The land is currently occupied in part of the Sydenham Barn wedding venue complex, which local reports suggested had ceased trading in late-May.

The council is currently considering an application from the same developers for the neighbouring site (also part-occupied by Sydenham Barn), for a total of 77 homes.

If approved, the new homes nearest the M5 would be accessed from Agusta Drive through the western parcel of land, with no secondary access being provided from Mayfair Close.

Of the new homes, 30 per cent will be affordable, meeting the council’s target for any new development of ten homes or more.

The developers said the site did not drain into the Somerset Levels and Moors RAMSAR site, and therefore was not constrained by the Dutch N court ruling, which seeks to prevent any net increase in phosphate levels across Somerset.

A joint spokesman said: “The application site falls outside of the Somerset Levels and Moors special protection area (SPA) surface water catchment; the site also drains away from the SPA rather than into it.

“Therefore, a habitats regulations assessment (HRA) or phosphate assessments is not required. Equally, the impact of phosphates into the SPA does not present a reason to delay the determination of this application.”

The land around the Willow Man sculpture has seen significant housing development in the last few years.

In addition to the 2,000 homes approved north of the A39, Vistry Partnerships were given the go-ahead in April for 80 new low-cost homes on land owned by Homes England on King’s Road, which will be delivered using a £15m investment.

The council is expected to make a decision on both sets of plans for the Sydenham Barn sites in early-2022.

It is not clear at this stage whether either set of plans will come before the council’s development committee for final approval.

Words: Daniel Mumby, Local Democracy Reporter

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