A LEGAL agreement has been approved to allow five large new houses to be built in the centre of Stogursey, two years after planning approval was given.
The former Somerset West and Taunton Council (SWT) gave permission for the development off High Street in November, 2021, subject to a section 106 agreement to commit developers Horton Estate Developments Ltd to carrying out necessary improvements to the road running alongside the 1.1-acre site.
Previously, plans had been put forward for 40 properties on the Bath and Wells Diocesan-owned field but were withdrawn after discussions with planning officers.
Planning agent Russell Williams, of Greenslade Taylor Hunt (GTH), said instead a ‘high quality scheme’ had been drawn up for a row of four four-bedroom houses and one with three bedrooms to be built along the road frontage.
Mr Williams said the development was ‘infill’, filling a void between other properties in High Street, and was close to the centre of Stogursey, so residents could easily walk via safe pedestrian footways to facilities such as the village shop, public house, church, and village hall.
He said the design of the houses paid close attention to the historical character and appearance of nearby properties and reflected the character of the village conservation area.
Parish councillors had objected to the application because of the impact on car parking spaces in the village, which was already under severe pressure.
Councillors said the site was allocated as important amenity land in the local development plan where building should not be permitted unless there were sufficient benefits for the community.
They also criticised the impact the new houses would have on the conservation area and the view from properties within it.
Forty-seven letters of objection from local residents were also submitted to SWT, many pointing to the need for ‘affordable’ homes for local people to continue to live in Stogursey rather than for executive-style large houses.
Then-SWT planning officer Jeremy Guise said an earlier appeal inspector’s decision to allow 27 homes to be built off Shurton Lane had changed ‘the policy consideration’ for Stogursey.
The Shurton Lane site approval took up the growth potential in the local plan for the whole village up to 2032.
But Mr Guise said the appeal had succeeded because SWT was unable to show it was meeting its legal requirement to have a five-year ready supply of land for housebuilding across the district, which meant it could no longer use its policy to block new applications.
► Meanwhile, Magna Housing, which owns the Shurston Lane site, has been consulting on the type of houses and bungalows it wants to build.
Magna said a ‘reserved matters’ planning application was expected to be submitted before the end of the year to gain approval of the detailed design of the estate.
It anticipated a start on site either late in 2024 or early in 2025, with the new properties finished before the end of 2026.
Magna said it was likely the development would use a pre-fabricated house design as the association had been working with Wimborne-based modular buildings manufacturer Rollalong.
A spokesperson said: “Magna have pioneered a partnership with local modern methods of construction (MMC) home manufacturing supplier Rollalong, to progress a more sustainable manufacturing solution for the provision of new homes on their development sites.
“This is a direct response to the Government’s agenda to increase the delivery of low-carbon, resource-efficient MMC homes in the UK.
“Magna will seek to use this method as a preference or pursue other similar high performing systems as required and dictated by the site.”