PLANS for 57 social houses in Mendip could be submitted by the end of the year.

Mendip District Council's (MDC) cabinet voted in November 2020 to deliver up to 160 new low-cost homes across five sites in the district in a partnership with Aster Housing.

Following a public outcry, the council withdrew proposals for up to 77 homes on the Easthill site in Frome in May 2021.

READ MORE: Social housing plans scrapped for Easthill Field in Frome

At a meeting on Monday (September 6), MDC's cabinet voted to push forward with the remaining social housing sites, intending to submit three planning applications by the end of the year.

These include:

  • Norbin's Road Car Park in Glastonbury - six houses (working with Aster)
  • Cemetery Lane in Street - 33 houses (working with Aster)
  • North Parade in Frome - 18 houses (working with Stonewater)

In Glastonbury and Street, the planning applications for the sites are expected in the autumn. But for Frome, plans should be submitted before the end of the year.

The social housing report at the meeting, which was noted and approved by members, also included a development of 15 bungalows in Shepton Mallet, with LiveWest as a partner.

But this is 'in the early stages' of the project and further information has not yet been provided.

However, the council has been exploring the possibility of building new homes on land on the B3136 West Shepton, immediately to the east of Shepton Mallet AFC.

READ MORE: Social housing could be built near Shepton Mallet football club

All three housing association partners the council is working with (Aster, LiveWest and Stonewater) have just received strategic partner status from Homes England - which means they will be able to access the funding needed to deliver social housing projects.

At the meeting, MDC members also heard that more than 1,600 families in Mendip are on the council's housing register.

Cllr Richard Pinnock, portfolio holder for housing at MDC, said that delivering social housing is 'difficult'.

“If it was easy then the private sector would do it," he said.

"They don’t. It is often left to local authorities, working in partnership with housing associations, to take up that responsibility instead.

“Mendip’s social housing ambition is a good example of where this council can step-in and provide housing for people who would otherwise have no hope of a home.”