writes Phil Hill

MORE detailed proposals for the first of 1,628 homes on open countryside at the foot of the Quantock Hills have been unveiled.

Redrow Homes has submitted plans for 173 dwellings north of Manor Road, in Staplegrove, along with a temporary vehicular access from Corkscrew Lane.

The application is for eight one-bedroom, 21 two-bed, 60 three-bed and 84 four-bed homes, with a mix of terraced, detached and semi-detached dwellings and a small number of flats. It includes 25 affordable homes.

A separate application to Somerset West and Taunton Council outlines plans for a spine road connecting Staplegrove Road and Kingston Road, which has attracted a £14.2million Government grant.

But under a 'planning gain' agreement, the spine road will need to be completed before the first 250 homes are occupied, as will improvements to Silk Mills roundabout and signals at Cross Keys roundabout and the Corkscrew Lane/Hope Corner Lane junction. Pedestrian links to Taunton Academy will need to be improved before anyone moves into any of the homes.

Outline planning permission was granted for the scheme in April of this year, and the latest application contains more detailed plans.

The 173 homes are on the western section of the Staplegrove scheme between Whitmore Lane and Silk Mills, which will eventually have a total of 713 homes built by Redrow and another developer.

Redrow has collaborated with the promoters and future developers of the eastern section between Whitmore Lane and Kingston Road, where there will be 915 homes.

The project will also include a primary school, employment land, play areas and green spaces.

A statement accompanying the planning application says: "The Staplegrove urban extension will help Taunton deliver housing growth sustainably, focussing on a strong green infrastructure to ensure a high quality environment for sustainable new neighbourhoods for the district."

The council initially pushed for the spine road to be completed before construction work commences, but backed down when the developers proposed the temporary access to "accelerate housing delivery".

Originally published in the Somerset County Gazette

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