Plans for potential Woolavington development near Gravity Smart Campus revealed
01 December 2023
Proposals that would see a primary school, local centre, play areas and much-needed homes in Woolavington have been revealed.
Persimmon Homes Severn Valley is seeking allocation for land west of the town in Somerset Council’s forthcoming Local Plan, stating it will be “an opportunity for sustainable economic growth in the area” which will “help address the acute housing need”.
Well connected to the wider area, Woolavington West is one mile from M5 Junction 23 and four miles by road from Bridgwater. Opposite the proposed site is the 616-acre Gravity Smart Campus which is proposed to deliver over 7,500 jobs and dynamic uses including rail, health, sports, and other social facilities.
The economic benefits of Persimmon’s proposed development would include millions of pounds worth of investment in section 106, Community Infrastructure Levy contributions, and new council tax receipts. Construction would also support hundreds of jobs each year as well as around 200 created at the operational stage.
The vision outlined by the housebuilder includes 1,400 new homes, a primary school, mixed-use local centre and mobility hub, football pitches, equipped play areas, and active travel routes to be constructed between Woolavington Road and Crancombe Lane.
It includes two hectares of land for educational establishments, 17.4ha as public open space, 4.1ha for new woodland, and 3.2ha of retained hedgerows. A number of homes would also be transferred to a local housing association to help alleviate the 11,900-strong housing waiting list in Somerset.
Commenting on the plans, Persimmon Homes Severn Valley Managing Director, Paul Moody, said Woolavington West provides a great opportunity to deliver a quality and sustainable development of new homes, community facilities and services in the local area.
“The scheme will help meet local housing need and is a logical site which will complement the exciting employment plans proposed at the nearby Gravity Smart Campus. Our vision for the site prioritises a sense of place and would create a positive legacy locally through the delivery of several key community facilities and amenities.
“Through an allocation in the forthcoming Somerset Local Plan, Woolavington West would deliver a mix of much needed homes aligned to the local authority's housing requirements and wider social, economic and environmental ambitions for the area. Sustainable transport at the site would be delivered with a network of routes and connections to link Woolavington West to neighbouring areas encouraging walking, cycling and public transport to the campus."
The development would be sensitively designed and serve to complement the proposals at the Gravity Smart Campus, with a public consultation on the plans to take place next year.