More than 2,700 additional homes could be delivered in our area by the end of the decade following a decision by planning inspectors, which was labelled ‘extremely regrettable’ by B&NES Council’s head of planning and licencing.

Mendip District Council’s Local Plan identifies sites where housing, employment and leisure facilities can be provided in the short and medium-term, as well as identifying areas where new schools, roads or other infrastructure improvements will be needed.

After Part I of the plan was adopted in 2014 (identifying major sites for new housing), the Council put forward further sites in Part II, which was subject to public hearings in 2020.

The Planning Inspectorate has now approved this plan, with the Council expected to make a formal part of its planning policies by the end of the year.

The Local Plan Part II came before the Council’s cabinet when it met in Shepton Mallet on October 4th, complete with a list of 37 sites where the new homes and other amenities will be delivered.

The sites are expected to deliver a minimum of 2,764 homes over the Local Plan period, which runs up to 2029.

However, the final total may vary depending on the individual applications which come forward.

Since the initial examination of Part II began, a number of the sites have either been approved for development or have become the subject of ongoing consultations.

The most local sites identified in the Local Plan Part II are listed below:

• Land at Station Road, Gurney Slade (minimum eleven dwellings): this site lies to the north of Station Road, with the new homes expected to wrap around the back of the existing properties on the A37 Marchant’s Hill. Any approved development will include contributions towards the local school and improvements to the existing Station Road access.

• Land near the White Post Inn, A367 Green Park Road, Midsomer Norton (minimum 250 dwellings): while Midsomer Norton and Radstock both lie within the Bath and North East Somerset Council area (B&NES), several sites on their existing boundaries are allocated within the Mendip Local Plan. Waddeton Park Ltd. has put forward plans for 270 homes on this site, with the Council expected to make a decision on the application by Christmas.

• Land east of A367 Fosseway South, Midsomer Norton (minimum 145 dwellings): located on the opposite side of the A367 to the White Post site, this area also lies on the border between the Mendip and B&NES areas. Any developer taking on this site will be expected to provide extensive cycling links to both the main road into Midsomer Norton and a secondary link to the B3139 at the site’s south-eastern edge. Stratton on the Fosse Parish will be affected by both of these developments and have spoken out against the plan’s allocation.

Land south of Underhill Lane, Midsomer Norton (minimum sixty dwellings): this site on the western edge of Midsomer Norton lies south of Underhill Wood, which has been designated as a local wildlife reserve. Any developer granted approval by the Council will be expected to provide a new access road from Orchard Vale to prevent the existing reserve being damaged.

• Land off Fosse Lane, Shepton Mallet (employment and industrial use): this site lies between the Mendip Distribution Centre and the Cannard’s Grave roundabout where the A361, A37 and A371 arterial roads all meet. The Council intends for the site to provide offices and light industrial spaces, with access being created off Frampton Road.

• Land east of Frog Lane, Stoke St. Michael (minimum thirty dwellings): this site lies at the western edge of the village, just north of the recreation ground and a short distance from Stoke St. Michael Primary School. Any successful application here will either have to contribute funding for school places or provide a parcel of land for its expansion.