We have carefully considered a number of issues in planning our approach to this site

Local opinion

Blue Cedar Homes has delayed submission of a planning application for the last 12 months in order to take the opportunity to engage with the Parish Council and Wedmore Neighbourhood Plan Group.

Since this time, the site has been formally acknowledged as being in a sustainable location and a local need for specialist retirement housing has been identified by the Neighbourhood Plan Group. Blue Cedar Homes intends to work positively with the Parish Council and Neighbourhood Plan Group in the lead up to submission of our planning application.

Design and materials

The new homes proposed on this site have been designed in a bespoke manner to respond to the unique qualities of the local environment. Key features include natural stone walls, chimney stacks, traditional window detailing as well as other features that are characteristic of Wedmore such as narrow depth roofs and barge board detailing.

The size of the proposed new homes responds directly to the built character of Wedmore, where the majority of houses are two storeys in height. The layout of the site has been arranged informally, to respond positively to this characteristic of the local environment.

Furthermore, great attention has been paid to the relationship between the development along its northern boundary and Cheddar Road. A characteristically Wedmore access into the site has been achieved, whilst limiting housing visible from the road and maintaining the high hedge and trees that are a characteristic of the site.

Access and movement

Careful consideration has been given to ensure that the centre of the village can easily and safely be reached by foot from the proposed homes. The proposal will also be safely accessed from Cheddar Road by a variety of vehicles from cars of owners and visitors to more occasional access by refuse vehicles and emergency vehicles.

Parking levels fully meet Somerset County Council Highway Authority standards and eliminate any demand for parking in surrounding streets. The 11 homes will produce significantly lower traffic movements when compared to a typical family housing development.

Landscaping and ecology

We propose to include new grassed areas, in addition to new trees, shrubs, hedges and a communal summer house. Landscaping plans include retention and management of existing tree groups and mature hedge near to Cheddar Road.

Many of the proposed new homes will benefit from hedge and shrub planting, in addition to natural-stone low boundary walls, to the front of their properties to create clear plot boundaries of high quality materials.

Sustainability considerations

The proposed drainage strategy for the site follows the principles of Sustainable Urban Drainage (SUDs). The development is designed to limit the speed of release of rainfall run off leaving the site to not greater than the rates of runoff for the existing undeveloped site. Permeable paving is provided for all parking spaces and driveways, as a way to slow the rate of water run-off and help to filter and manage any pollutants in surface water on the site.

The homes are designed to be highly energy efficient and follow 'fabric first' principles by achieving high levels of thermal insulation. This reduces the amount of energy needed to heat homes when compared older homes. This achieves is a more effective way of reducing the carbon demand from each house when compared with the provision of additional of on-site renewable energy generation.

Notwithstanding that the site is very well located to local services (reducing the need to travel by car), the Proposal includes a Travel Plan with a number of measures to directly encourage residents to use public transport through information provision and other incentives. Physical measure incorporated into the Proposal include sufficient physical space for the storage of bicycles and the provision of electrical points in all garages to encourage residents to switch away from petrol and diesel vehicles.

Future maintenance

The grounds will be managed by an Estate Manager, appointed directly by Blue Cedar Homes, who will be responsible for day to day maintenance of the development.

This includes the management of recycling and refuse bins and all landscaping including site boundaries, lawns and the various trees within the grounds that will be planted or retained as part of the development.

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