Plans for 101 homes approved – the first of 320 in total

Work can begin on more than 100 new homes on the outskirts of Taunton after detailed plans were approved.

Taunton Deane Borough Council granted outline permission in 2015 for up to 320 homes to be built in three phases at the Hartnells Farm site within the Monkton Heathfield urban extension.

Persimmon Homes South West applied in December 2019 for more detailed permission (known as reserved matters) over phases two and three of the development, comprising 101 houses.

Somerset West and Taunton Council (which replaced Taunton Deane in 2019) has now approved these plans, meaning the new homes will begin construction in the coming months.

Phase one of the wider development was granted permission in December 2018, comprising the first 129 homes at the southern end of the site near the roundabout on the A3259.

Phases two and three will be accessed through the existing development, and will include a range of properties from one-bedroom wheelchair-accessible bungalows to four-bedroom houses.

Planning officer Andrew Penna said the two phases represented “an appropriate, high-quality response” to the design code for the whole development, agreed between the council and Persimmon in 2018.

He added: “The distribution of 25 per cent affordable homes in the two phases complies with our policies.

“The layout provides garages and car parking spaces for individual dwellings. No specific visitor spaces are identified, but Somerset County Council consider this will not lead to obstructions.”

An emergency access from Greenway to the west of the site will be added as part of the fourth and final phase of the development – plans for which have not yet been submitted.

Construction on the long-awaited western relief road (WRR) within Monkton Heathfield finally began in February after years of legal wrangling between the council and original developer Strategic Land Partnership.

The road will run from the A3259 to the existing roundabout with Sellicks Road and Milton HIll, which connects to the A38, and is expected to be completed by the summer of 2021.

The road is being funded by contributions from other developments within the urban extension, and will include a new bus gate on the A3259 near Prockters Farm.

A planning application covering the next phase of the Monkton Heathfield urban extension – including 1,500 homes, a new school and a new bypass – is expected to be submitted before the end of the year.

Somerset Live Bath