WORK has officially started on a major, 2,000-home development at Comeytrowe in Taunton.

The location’s name has also been unveiled, with the community to be called ‘Orchard Grove’, which is set to include a primary school and a park-and-ride facility.

Developers Taylor Wimpey and Vistry Group, which includes Bovis Homes and Linden Homes, say the aim is to create a unique new ‘garden community’, with two neighbourhoods connected by shared amenities and outdoor space.

However, the development has not been without opposition, with nearby residents long protesting the scheme, claiming infrastructure in the area will not be able to cope with thousands of new homes.

There was also a recent controversy over plans for a pumping station to be built at Galmington Stream.

However now, teams have arrived on site to begin the vital infrastructure work.

Groundworks, installing essential services, implementing ecological measures, and developing transport links are all needed ahead of homes and amenities arriving.

The first area to be developed will be known as the ‘western neighbourhood’, which will feature homes and a 'local centre'.

Somerset County Gazette:

UNDERWAY: The first phase will include a local centre, seen here as an artist impression

This part of Orchard Grove will be partly defined by the Galmington Stream, with a park and green corridor of land weaving through the heart of the development, the developers said.

Ian Pugsley, from Taylor Wimpey and the Orchard Grove Consortium, said: “We are delighted to be part of the skilled team bringing an exceptional garden community vision to life.

"This is an exciting development for the region, delivering vital new homes alongside job opportunities and boosting the local economy.”

Sue Scholfield, from Vistry Group and the Orchard Grove Consortium, added: “Starting work on site is an important milestone and we are thrilled to be part of this impressive project.

"We are building high quality new homes, facilities, and ample green space; but more than that, we are building a vibrant new community that will be a positive addition to Taunton and the neighbouring parishes.”

Somerset County Gazette:

HOMES: An area named Gateway Square