Posted: 09.01.21 at 11:05 by Daniel Mumby - Local Democracy Reporter
Plans for nearly 450 new homes could be approved for several sites across Sedgemoor before the end of the year.
Planners at Sedgemoor District Council are attempting to deal with a backlog of planning decisions following the Dutch N court ruling, which raised concerns about phosphate levels on the Somerset Levels and Moors.
Natural England has advised all Somerset’s local authorities to carry out additional assessments before approving any plans which could lead to higher phosphate levels – including major housing developments.
The council is already working on decisions for a number of major developments which are outstanding in the district – including the A39 Quantock Road in Bridgwater (354 homes), the B3151 Lower New Road in Cheddar (115 homes) and Lympsham Road in Lympsham (50 homes).
But since the Dutch N ruling in October, developers have put forward plans for a further 445 homes across six different sites – including two major sites near the Gravity complex which is currently under construction.
Here’s a rundown of the new developments which have been submitted to the council since the Dutch N ruling:
Cossington Lane in Woolavington (125 homes): Gladman Developments originally put forward plans for this Woolavington development in April 2020, but lodged an appeal against the council on grounds of “non-determination” (i.e. the council took too long to make a decision). While the appeal hearing is ongoing, the developer has put forward these amended proposals.
Woolavington Lane in Woolavington (95 homes): the other Gladman site in Woolavington is also currently subject to an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate, on the same grounds of non-determination. These proposals differ only in minor ways from the original plans, with access still being from the north-eastern corner of the site.
King’s Road in Bridgwater (80 homes): Homes England is providing £15 million towards delivering low-cost homes on this site near the M5 motorway and the iconic Willow Man sculpture. While outline plans were approved in late-2019, these amended plans cover the layout and design of the homes, confirming that all 80 will be affordable rather than 24 under the first proposals.
A39 Main Road in Cannington (73 homes): Crest Nicholson South West intends to build these homes on a greenfield site between Cannington Grange and the existing houses on Southbrook. A new arm will be added onto the existing A39 Main Road roundabout as part of any approval.
B3139 Blackmore Road in Wedmore (38 homes): Strongvox Homes is seeking permission to build this development, which would surround Wedmore First School on its north and east sides. In addition to green space within the site, the development would also deliver improved pedestrian access along the B3139 Pilcorn Road heading into the village.
B3139 Wells Road in Wedmore (34 homes): this proposed development by C&P Developments (Wedmore) Ltd will be built to the south of existing allotments near the Mendip Scouts hut, with a new access onto the B3139 Wells Road being created. The dwellings will comprise 30 regular homes and four self-built plots for more bespoke housing.
Somerset’s four district councils (including Sedgemoor) estimated in early-December that nearly 800 planning applications had been affected by the Dutch N ruling, including developments that would deliver more than 11,000 new homes.
The councils wrote to the government asking for a commitment that affordable housing funding would not be lost because of these delays, and demanding £140,000 to pay for extra staff to deliver these assessments.
Sedgemoor District Council can be expected to make a decision on these new plans by the end of 2021.