SOME major changes have been made to the plans to transform the former Wansbrough Paper Mill site in Watchet.

Initially, the plans put forward for the site by the developers included up to 400 homes, a new hotel, a 60 bed care home, and 8,000 square metres of employment space, among other things.

But earlier this month the developers resubmitted several amendments to the initial plans.

Now the total proposed number of dwellings for the site has been reduced from 'up to 400' to 'up to 350'.

Previously this was divided into 200 homes and 200 flats, but under the new plans the mix will be 260 homes and 90 flats.

Meanwhile the proposed number of assisted living apartments has also been scaled down, from 160 to 80.

Elsewhere the plans for the new 60 bed care home have been scrapped altogether, while a proposal to build a new community building has been added.

The developers say the new community building will provide 'a new local centre and leisure facilities to expand the current offer of Watchet, including a visitor interpretation centre offering access to the site's history as a paper mill.

One of the other major changes being but forward is a significant reduction in the amount of employment space being proposed.

Initially the developers wanted 8,000 square metres designated as employment space, but under the latest plans this will be reduced to 5,000 square metres.

Plans for a new hotel and associated leisure facilities remain as they were before, as do plans for the proposed retail space.

Somerset County Gazette:

Meanwhile a traffic calming scheme has been added to Brendon Road and plans for a public car park on the site with between 50 and 70 spaces have also been submitted.

With the plans there will be one main access route for cars using the existing access location from Brendon Road, but with a redesigned junction arrangement.

A second emergency and pedestrian-only access will also be provided south west of the main access from Brendon Road.

A spokesman for JB Planning Associates said: "The design and layout of the proposed development has evolved as a result of input from the applicant’s professional team and liaising with stakeholders including Somerset West and Taunton Council, Somerset County Council and local residents and community groups."

One local resident has submitted an objection to the amended plans, stating: "Watchet is a small town and its infrastructure will most certainly not be able to cope should these plans be passed."

Meanwhile other residents have already raised concerns about the impact of the construction work itself, access to the site during building and the noise levels.

To view the full plans for the former Watchet Paper Mill site, visit the planning section of the Somerset West and Taunton Council website, and search for the application number 3/37/19/021.