Housebuilder Mactaggart & Mickel’s South West England Strategic Land team has won outline planning approval for a 213-home neighbourhood in Keynsham, North East Somerset.
Proposals for the 25-acre site, known as Withies Green, also include a new playing field for the Two Rivers C of E Primary School being built at the neighbouring Hygge Park development, as well as allotments, a community orchard, football pitch and open space, including a wetland park.
Bath and North East Somerset (BANES) approved the outline planning application following a three-month virtual community consultation carried out by Mactaggart & Mickel that asked residents what they would like to see in a new neighbourhood in their area.
Ken Hopkins, Head of Strategic Land at Mactaggart & Mickel, comments: “We’re looking forward to delivering a neighbourhood that responds to the feedback given by the community and brings multiple benefits to the area, from much-needed new homes, including affordable homes, and new sustainable transport links, to new outdoor spaces.
“Mactaggart & Mickel pride ourselves on not just creating new homes but also encouraging a sense of place, and community. The landscaping and green spaces, alongside the wetland park and woodland, will create a fantastic environment for people of all ages to enjoy.”
BANES’ planning committee voted to approve the proposal on 4 May to accept the advice of their council’s planning officer who said there were significant considerations weighing in favour of the development, including a significant contribution towards maintaining a five-year land supply in BANES, and the provision of 30% affordable housing.
Mactaggart & Mickel originally attempted to secure outline planning permission for 200 homes on the site in 2018 but BANES rejected the application, saying that the site was not needed for development and that the existing road network didn’t have the capacity to copy with any increased traffic.
Mactaggart & Mickel subsequently lodged a revised proposal following a community consultation. Revisions included the incorporation of a community hub, an expansion of the sports pitches, open space including wetlands and orchards, electric vehicle charging points, green roofs, bird and bat boxes, community gardens and allotments.
Mactaggart & Mickel also proposed improvements to cycle routes between the site and Keynsham town centre and railway station.
Ken Hopkins adds: “The proposal for Withies Green is a sensitive response to the dual need to provide more homes and community facilities to the local area while also respecting the location of the site next to woodlands and green space.”