THE final stage of a crucial relief road near Taunton could soon be provided – if plans for hundreds of new homes are approved.

Crest Nicholson South West and West of England Developments (Taunton) Ltd. have submitted proposals for 400 homes at Ford Farm, Norton Fitzwarren, north of the railway line.

As part of the development, the two firms would complete the construction of Great Western Way at the site’s southern edge, providing a relief road for the village and taking pressure off the B3227 between Taunton and Wiveliscombe.

Somerset West and Taunton Council is expected to rule on the plans by early 2022.

The site, which feature in SWT’s local plan, is between the B3227 and the Taunton-Exeter main line, including the connection to the West Somerset Railway.

The land nearest to Norton Fitzwarren’s heritage railway station, at the western edge, will remain undeveloped to give the WSR the opportunity to enhance its facilities.

A spokesman for the Pegasus Planning Group (representing the developers) said: “The WSR has ambitions to utilise this land for a car park or other access to their rail line, with longer-term desires for a park and ride as part of services to Taunton railway station.

“The site lies within walking distance of a range of services and facilities, including a convenience store, medical centre, village hall, primary school and public house, as well as other shops and services within the local centre.

“Bus stops along the B3227 provide semi-regular services to Taunton.”

Great Western Way currently runs from the Langford Mews development at the eastern edge of the village to Home Terrace.

Under the newest plans, the completed relief road will run from the western end of the B3227 along the railway line and connect up with the existing Great Western Way.

Access to the new homes will be via the new relief road, with a footbridge provided near the village hall and playground in the north east corner.

A total of 92 homes will be delivered in the first phase, with more detailed plans for the remaining 308 properties coming forward after outline approval is granted.

The developers have yet not confirmed how many affordable homes will be built.

A spokesperson said: “Employment land is not being provided because the net develop-able amount of land, following a detailed review of the constraints of the site, is insufficient to provide this alongside 400 homes, the delivery of the flood alleviation scheme, the bypass and the associated areas of open space and other elements to accommodate the number of dwellings proposed.”