THE first tenants are already moving into new council homes in North Taunton.

Phase A of the Woolaway Project has seen 26 homes deemed defective by the Government being replaced by 47 more sustainable homes.

An opening ceremony has been held for the one- and two-bedroom flats and bungalows and three-bedroom chalets, and three- and four-bedroom houses.

The homes benefit from energy efficiency measures such as solar panels, triple glazing and air source heat pumps.

Cllr Federica Smith-Roberts, Somerset Council's lead member for communities, housing and culture, said: “We hope tenants enjoy living in these fantastic new homes, and we are grateful for the community support we’ve received during the build process, as I know that it has not always been easy.

“In the midst of a housing crisis, at a time when we see demand for housing far outstripping supply, we are proud to provide high standard, climate friendly homes that are suitable for our tenants – it’s a great achievement.

“Our work with partners, including our successful £5million grant from Homes England, shows what can be achieved with a proactive and forward-thinking council.

“We will continue to support the North Taunton scheme as it moves forward to help tackle the housing crisis in Somerset.”

Jon Young, regional director at contractor Equans, said: “We’re delighted to be handing over Phase A of this scheme and to see the first of the residents moving into their new homes.

“From the start, this contract has been about more than simply delivering bricks and mortar.

"It’s sustainable regeneration delivering energy efficient homes to meet the needs of local families, as well as ambitious decarbonisation targets, with lasting and positive wider community benefits.

“To see the homes achieve EPC ratings of A+, making them effectively carbon neutral, is a real achievement which everyone involved should be proud of. The new residents will have homes that are warm and comfortable which we hope will be enjoyed by the community for many years to come.

“Working with Somerset Council and local people and businesses has also been a key priority for us on this contract and we were thrilled to recently be recognised for our outstanding programmes of social value, by winning the National Building and Construction Award 2023 for our Community Engagement with the local community in Taunton.”