PROPOSALS to build up to 1,120 homes on land just outside Taunton have been lodged with planners.

The outline planning application also includes employment use, a 'through' school, district centre, community facilities, a bus and ride scheme and an extension to the Eastern Relief Road.

Redrow Homes and Persimmon Homes are seeking permission for the development on a 100-hectare site between Monkton Heathfield, Creech Heathfield and Creech St Michael.

Somerset West and Taunton Council will in due course debate the plans for the site, which is currently made up of fields, woodland and hedgerows.

The housebuilders are also looking at building premises for shops, including a food store, food and drink outlets, restaurants and cafes, hot food takeaways and offices.

Community facilities could include places of worship, a community hall, health facilities and care and residential accommodation for elderly people.

The application represents the second phases of the allocation of 4,500 homes in the Taunton Core Strategy.

Planning permission has already been passed for around 1,450 of those homes at Monkton Heathfield, where the population is estimated to grow to 10,000 in the coming years.

The planning application says: "The development provides a unique opportunity to create a new garden neighbourhood, building on the legacy and distinctive character of the site.

"Creating housing choice and provide areas of accessible open space, whilst improving public access across the site and the wider pedestrian network.

"The delivery of local facilities and services, employment space and community facilities, alongside development will support both the existing and proposed communities, complementing the vision for the Taunton Garden Town."

It adds: "The MH2 (Monkton Heathfield second phase) new garden neighbourhood will be a highly desirable place to live for the 21st century and beyond, reflecting the desirable elements of the local vernacular.

"The proposals respect the local character but also move the community towards a more sustainable future, through a significant increase in housing choice.

"Development will accord with the principles of high-quality design and best practice to create a townscape that is both varied, and yet sympathetic to its environment.

"The aim is to achieve a development with a strong identity and distinct sense of place, whilst at the same time integrating with the existing community."