What is proposed?

Click on the image above to view a larger version of the masterplan

Our proposals for Wedmore Grange Phase 3 include the following key elements, which are subject to change following the outcomes of this consultation:

  • 40 new homes, including a mix of 2, 3 and 4 bedroom properties
  • 16 affordable homes, a proportion of which will be for rent and the remainder will be for shared ownership - people local to the Parish of Wedmore who are in housing need will be given first priority for the affordable homes under a Local Lettings Policy
  • New areas of green open space, including a community orchard
  • An attentuation pond to improve drainage and reduce flood risk in the wider local area
  • New orchard planting, management of ecology buffers and attenuation pond to secure at least a 10% increase in biodiversity
  • Financial contributions to local community infrastructure
  • Generous separation distances between proposed properties and existing properties on Quab Lane
What will the layout of the site and new homes look like?

Due to the generous open spaces and ecology setback areas proposed in the layout, the development is of low density and form and relatively loose when compared to other modern housing layouts. Houses will be a mix of one and two storeys and particular attention has been given to ensure landscape impacts are minimal. The design includes a bungalow to the north east of the layout and homes with boundaries onto Quab Lane have been specifically orientated to ensure generous distances between proposed and existing properties on Quab Lane. Normal minimum distances of 20 metres have been increased to between 24 and 28 metres between proposed and existing properties.

The new homes we propose will broadly mirror those being constructed in Wedmore Grange Phases 1 and 2, using a mix of coloured render and White Lyas stone. The image below shows how the proposed streets could look - click on the image below to open a slideshow of indicative street scenes.

Will there be enough car parking on site?

Car parking across the site has been proposed to ensure suitable levels of parking that are in excess of the minimum standards for parking as set out in Somerset County Council's Residential Parking Zone Guidance.

Including visitor spaces, each home will have an average of 2.5 car parking spaces per dwelling. A typical 3 bed house has 2 to 3 car parking spaces and 4 bed homes typically have 4 car parking spaces. This is designed to ensure that there is no additional demand for parking on nearby streets including Quab Lane and Blackford Road where Wedmore First School is located.

Have drainage and ecology been considered?

Ecological surveys have been undertaken at the site in 2017, 2019 and further bat, dormouse and great crested newt surveys are continuing into 2020. To date, the surveys have shown that two of the hedgerows on site are important commuting routes for bats, including the rare lesser and greater horseshoe bats. The development proposals have, therefore, been designed around retaining and enhancing these hedgerows as dark corridors with large buffers between the development. Mitigation measures will be included to ensure that light levels are maintained low in areas used by commuting and foraging bats and a number of bat boxes will be installed.

The key habitats on site are the traditional orchard and the mature hedgerows. The orchard is an excellent foraging resource for a range of protected species, however, it is heavily grazed and the grassland beneath is in poor condition. The development proposals are retaining the vast majority of the orchard which will be brought into management to enhance its ecological value.

The remainder of the site is composed of species-poor agricultural grassland which had low ecological value and the bulk of the development footprint will be located in this habitat to minimise biodiversity loss. Where grassland is retained, it will be enhanced to create wildflower meadows with high value for pollinators. A range of other ecological enhancements and mitigation measures will be incorporated into the scheme including bird boxes, bug hotels, wildlife-friendly drainage system and maintaining connectivity through the site for nocturnal mammals such as hedgehog.

We propose to build a new drainage system on-site. Flows from the site into the Phase 1 development will be controlled and storage provided within a new attenuation pond. Any flood water will naturally drain towards the new pond and be contained within the site.

How has road safety and access been considered?

Highway improvements being delivered as part of Phases 1 and 2 mean that this is an ideal, highly accessible location to build much needed new homes in the village. Having made these improvements, our highways calculations show that proposed new homes will have a negligible impact on the local road network at peak times.

Raised areas of 'shared space' will be included on road surfaces within the proposed development, designed to naturally calm road vehicles and increase safety for pedestrians.

How does the proposal comply with local planning policies?

Strongvox Homes has undertaken consultation with Sedgemoor District Council and Wedmore Parish Council ahead of putting this proposal together. The main policy guiding further development within the village is Policy T2b (Tier 2 Settlements - Unmet Local Housing Need) of the Sedgemoor Local Plan. This policy allows for the development of new homes where there remains an unmet affordable housing need, provided that the development allows for 40% of all homes to be provided as affordable homes.

Notwithstanding existing planning permissions granted in the last 5 years (including the Cross Farm Development) and the Wedmore Grange Developments at Blackford Road, there remains an identified unmet need for circa 30 affordable homes in the village (as identified in the most recent 2018 Affordable Housing Needs Survey for Wedmore). This proposal will deliver 16 new affordable homes, making a significant contribution to this unmet need. This is equivalent to 40% of the proposed homes, even higher than the proportion of affordable homes under construction to the south of the site (this was 30%). Policy T2b also requires that the affordable homes are given priority to local people via a Local Lettings Policy. Strongvox intends to consult with the Parish Council and Sedgemoor District Council on the precise mechanisms to ensure local people from the parish are given priority.

Will the development be sustainable?

In addition to the proposed ecology and drainage improvements, Strongvox Homes is committed to building new homes that are insulated to modern standards, thereby reducing energy consumption. All homes will be built to up to date building standards and on the principle of 'Fabric First' whereby the need for heating and cooling is kept to an absolute minimum.

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