New social housing will be built near Somerset Football Stadium

Plans to deliver new low-cost homes near a Somerset football stadium are closing in following a move by Mendip councilors.

Mendip District Council has explored the possibility of providing new social housing on a range of sites across the district, forming partnerships with housing associations and other developers to meet local housing needs.

Cabinet of Council voted unanimously on Monday evening (March 7) to advance a plan to build 15 new low-cost homes on B3136 West Shepton, near existing Shepton Mallet AFC facilities.

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Work is also progressing to varying degrees to deliver new homes to sites in Frome, Glastonbury and Street.

There are currently around 230 households in the Greater Shepton area who are listed as needing social housing on the Homefinder system used by the four Somerset District Councils.

The new homes delivered by LiveWest will be a mix of one- and two-story properties, with at least a third (five units) suitable for elderly or physically disabled occupants – although this may increase depending on the availability of subsidies and overall viability. of the regime.

The council has already pledged that new homes will exceed current building regulations and will explore zero carbon ownership, similar to replacement properties under the North Taunton Woolaway regeneration scheme.

The site is currently leased to the football club by the council, but is not in active use, with the club exploring the possibility of providing new training facilities to the west of their current stadium.

Councilor Richard Pinnock, holder of the housing services and governance portfolio, told the cabinet on Monday evening (7 March): ‘Any proposal to build houses on recreational land will raise questions, so I ask you to accept recommendations tonight based on housing need.

“A full, open and transparent dialogue with the residents of Shepton Mallet will take place as part of the planning process.

“I want to assure you that we have looked closely at the question of need. In a study we carried out last year, Shepton came bottom of the list of major settlements in Mendip for the supply of all modes of transport. occupancy of affordable housing over a period of time.

“So the need in Shepton is clear – and we are targeting the area most in need with the hardest to deliver homes. We are taking a proactive role in presenting a proposal that is unlikely to be presented by anyone else.”

The council first announced its social housing scheme in November 2020, aiming to deliver 160 homes across five sites in partnership with Aster Housing. The West Shepton site was added to the program in September 2021.

Plans for 33 homes on Portland Road at Street

Following the withdrawal of the Easthill site in Frome (which would have delivered 77 such properties), four sites remain under the agreement between Aster Housing and the council:

  • Portland Road in Street (33 houses adjoining the cemetery)
  • Cranhill Road in Street (29 houses on the western half of the existing car park)
  • North Parade in Frome (17 dwellings on the rear part of the existing car park)
  • Norbins Road in Glastonbury (six houses on existing car park, access to St John’s School retained)

Plans for the Portland Road and Norbins Road venues have gone out for public consultation, with plans for the North Parade venue expected to follow in the coming months.

The Cranhill program remains on hold until an investigation into another third-party site is concluded.

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Speaking after the unanimous cabinet vote, council leader Ros Wyke said: ‘Social and affordable housing has not been built in Mendip for two decades. We said we would address this deficit and remediate.

“We have delivered on that commitment and deliver a program we can be proud of across our district.”

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A formal planning application for the West Shepton site is expected in the spring.

Plans offered by Redrow Homes for 125 homes west of the city’s football stadium were turned down by planning officers in late September 2021.

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