NEW bungalows will be built on the edge of a small Somerset village following a successful appeal.

Huntworth Properties applied in July 2022 for outline permission to construct seven new bungalows on Dillons Road in Creech St. Michael, near Taunton, on land to the north of the Bridgwater and Taunton Canal.

The Bridgwater-based developer lodged an appeal against Somerset West and Taunton Council in November 2022 on the grounds of non-determination (i.e. the council had failed to come to a decision within an appropriate amount of time).

The Planning Inspectorate has now ruled in the developer’s favour, arguing it would not set any kind of unwanted legal precedent.

The new homes will be constructed at the eastern end of Dillons Road, to the north of the existing properties on Ryesland Way.

A footpath running from the east of the site will link up with the existing public right of way, providing a pedestrian link to the canal towpath and the northern end of the village.

To offset any rise in phosphates from the new homes, a package treatment plant will be installed on site, with new woodland also being planted at the northern edge of the development.

Planning inspector Alexander O’Doherty visited the site on October 31, 2023, and published his decision before a meeting of Somerset Council’s planning committee west, which handles major applications in the former Somerset West and Taunton area.

Mr O’Doherty said it was acceptable for none of the bungalows to be offered as affordable housing, given the size of the planned development.

The developer will, however, provide a contribution towards delivering affordable housing elsewhere in the wider Taunton area.

Regarding the phosphates issues. he said: “I have not been provided with substantive evidence which might cast doubt on Natural England’s assurances that the proposed nutrient neutrality scheme would achieve its aims.

“I therefore find that there would not be adverse effects on the Somerset Levels and Moors Ramsar site with particular regard to the concentration of
phosphates in the area arising from the proposed development.

“Given the limited number of dwellings proposed and the size of the site in comparison to this amount of dwellings, the proposed development would not
meaningfully reduce the break between Dillons Road and settlements further

“Although it has been stated that local services and facilities are presently oversubscribed, as the proposed development relates to up to seven dwellings only, any impact in this regard would be limited.”

A reserved matters application, covering the design and layout of the homes, will be submitted later in the year.

The Planning Inspectorate is expected to rule by the spring on plans for a further 100 homes on North End in the same village, following a public inquiry which got under way on January 9.