A GROWING village near the Mendip Hills could soon expand even more rapidly if plans for dozens of new homes are approved.

Coleford lies roughly halfway between Midsomer Norton and Shepton Mallet, only a few miles from the Mendip Hills national landscape (formerly area of outstanding natural beauty, or AONB).

The village is already set to expand in the coming years, with Gladman Developments’ plans for 63 homes on the eastern side of Anchor Road being approved on appeal by the Planning Inspectorate in October 2021.

Now Rainier Developments Ltd. has put forward outline proposals for a further 75 homes on the opposite side of Anchor Road – with Somerset Council expected to make a decision on the proposals by the summer.

The proposed development site comprises a rough triangle at the northern edge of the village, bordered on its northern side by Brewery Lane, which leads to the neighbouring village of Holcombe.

Access would be from Anchor Road via new junction near the existing homes on the western side of the road, off-setting the traffic from the planned entrance to the Gladman site (which is currently up for sale).

Large amounts of public open space will be provided at the western edge of the site, with two attenuation ponds being installed near Brewery Lane to prevent localised flooding.

The developer, which is based in Henley-in-Arden in Warwickshire, intends for 23 of the 75 new homes to be affordable – meeting the council’s target of 30 per cent affordable homes in any new major development in the former Mendip area.

A spokesman for Edge Urban Design (representing the developer) said: “The site affords an opportunity to create a sustainable new development to complement Coleford.

“As a deliverable site, this proposal can aid in the delivery of much needed new homes in the former Mendip district, in a place where people will want to live, work and play.

“The initial concept is centred around the themes of connectivity, character and community, delivered through a high-quality, landscape-led proposal.

“The proposals will form part of a new northern gateway to Coleford, so it should set a precedent, ensuring the development becomes a positive gain, complementing its location.”

Somerset County Gazette: Plans for the 75 homes.Plans for the 75 homes. (Image: Edge Urban Design)

The site was deemed “unsuitable” for development before 2029 as part of an ongoing review of the Mendip Local Plan Part II, which is currently out for public consultation.

The NHS Somerset integrated care board has requested that the new development provide just over £33,000 to make improvements to the Mendip Country Practice doctors’ surgery on Church Street.

Malcolm Dicken, the care board’s head of local planning authority engagement, said: “The vast majority of the residents of the proposed development will register as patients with this practice.

“The current medical centre providing primary care is up to its capacity and will not be able to absorb the increased patients arising from the proposed development.

“The only way to mitigate the impact is to increase the physical capacity of the existing surgery.

“Without the contribution to increase the physical capacity, the proposed development will put too much strain on health infrastructure, putting people at risk.”

The council is expected to make a decision on the outline plans later in the year.

To have your say on the amended Mendip Local Plan Part II, visit www.somersetcouncil.citizenspace.com/planning/mendip-local-plan-part-ii-limited-update-reg-18.