Construction of 130 new homes in Somerset village could begin in the autumn
The construction of more than 100 new homes on the Somerset-Dorset border could begin in a matter of months, according to the developer.
Barratt David Wilson Homes put forward amended plans in December 2021 to build 130 homes on Woodhayes Way in Henstridge, having acquired the site from Gladman Developments. South Somerset District Council‘s area east committee refused the plans in April, but this was overturned in May by the regulation committee, which makes the final decision on major planning applications.
The developer has now revealed it will begin building the new homes in the autumn, with the entire ‘Townsend Landings’ site expected to be completed by 2026. The new development will deliver 46 affordable homes, meeting the council’s target of 35 per cent affordable housing for any new development of ten homes or more.
A spokesman for the developer said the new homes would be delivered in “a carefully planned and sensitive manner.” They continued: “We are conscious of concerns from local residents who are worried about the potential impact on wildlife and the environment as a result of the plans to develop the site.
“We would like to inform residents of the measures that we are committed to delivering as we respect and protect green space as far as possible. We are aware of the local great crested newt population and will create a new wildlife pond that will provide a haven for this species as well as others.
“This wildlife pond will be in addition to almost three hectares of wetland and grassland around the meadow area, throughout the site. As well as this, more than 100 trees will be planted within the area of public open space, while over 30 of the homes will include a bat or bird box.
“All of these measures and more are part of our commitment to develop the site in a way that is sensitive to local biodiversity. We are pleased that the council’s case officer concluded the proposal will have ‘no adverse impact on protected species or biodiversity’.”
Numerous residents criticised the lack of car parking within the site when the plans were first refused in April, claiming the additional vehicles would put a huge strain on the A357 and the surrounding road network. Peter Thompson told the regulation committee: “130 houses will produce 390 cars, plus all the internet delivery traffic growing by the year.
“It’s going to be absolute pandemonium in the village.” Barratt David Wilson Homes responded to the original refusal of the plans in April by adding a further seven visitors spaces within the site.
A spokesman said: “We know that parking is an important issue in Henstridge and we have added a further seven visitor car parking spaces since the area east committee, where we were encouraged by the judgement of Somerset County Council (as the highways authority) that the ‘level of parking provided is in accordance with the Somerset Parking Strategy; in fact, there is an over-provision of visitor spaces’.
“We have also taken on board feedback regarding the plans during the construction phase of the works. The construction route for HGVs has now been changed to ensure that no construction traffic will be routed through the village. We are currently planning to begin construction work on-site in the autumn of this year, with a projected completion of the development in 2025/26.
“We remain committed to engaging with the community and are currently in dialogue with Henstridge Parish Council regarding a range of matters. These include affordable housing, as well as the direction of contributions and works on highways and play parks.”