Resident-led plans to build up to 230 new homes and replace Woolaway houses in north Taunton were approved yesterday (Wednesday 27 March) by councillors.
Taunton Deane Borough Council’s planning committee backed the authority’s ‘outline’ plan to regenerate the area, alongside a separate detailed application for the first phase of the project.
Phase one of the development involves replacing 26 Woolaway properties and building 21 additional homes and a community centre on land between Lyngford Lane and Dorchester Road. Work could begin as soon as spring 2020 following approval of the plans.
The decision follows extensive consultation with residents, who have been involved in shaping the plans for the neighbourhood over an 18 month period. It was described as robust and exemplary by the South West Design Review Panel.
The Woolaway properties were constructed as a post-war housing option but were designated as defective by the Government in the Housing Defects Act 1984.
Rich Wiseman, Programme Manager from Taunton Deane Borough Council, said: “Although these homes are still safe to live in, we wanted to make them fit for the future and regenerate the area.
“Following detailed consultation and feedback from residents and the community, we will have 64 more new homes as a result of the overall scheme, with a good mix of property types and sizes for rent, or shared ownership, to meet the local need. This is a big step forward for the area and I would like to thank residents who have taken part in discussions about the area’s future and shared their ideas with us.”
Working with Taunton Deane Borough Council, architectural and planning consultancy Nash Partnership led an 18-month resident consultation to find the best solution. They set up a design group led by residents to help develop house types to suit the community and it was decided which homes would be demolished and replaced.
Amanda Taylor, Urban Design Director at Nash Partnership, said: “Having worked closely with residents we are really pleased to see the first step forward in regenerating the local community and building better, more suitable homes for residents.
“Residents have played such an important part in shaping the future of this area. We have taken on board their input and ideas to design homes and a layout that will work for them. The consultation has set a benchmark which will raise the bar for any development that happens here, and will ultimately help to create a thriving, successful place.”
The new homes could range from one and two bedroom flats and bungalows, to two, three, four and five bedroom homes, as well as two and three bedroom chalets. Further plans for the development will be submitted in phases over the coming years.
As part of the outline plan, there will be improved parking areas, a new community facility, and green spaces.
The council will continue to work with the residents offering one-to-one conversations and support through a local base at a project office established in the centre of the community.
More information on the scheme is available on http://www.tauntondeane.gov.uk/north-taunton-woolaway-regeneration-scheme