This eco-development in Northampton shows what an ecotown might look like
Proposals to build an eco-town on the outskirts of Yeovil have reached a step closer, thanks to a government grant.
The district council has secured £1.5m for master planning for the Urban Village at Stars Lane car park and the Glove Factory development.
It is hoped this grant will put the council in a stronger position to realise its plans for the 5,000 home eco town on the outskirts of Yeovil.
Public consultation is now expected to get underway to find a preferred site.
The South West Regional Spatial Strategy has stated that 11,400 homes should be built in and around Yeovil between 2006 and 2026, and this is the reason why the council is bidding for funding to make the eco-town possible.
The first four developments have been announced for such developments in Norfolk, Oxfordshire, Hampshire and Cornwall in July.
Now authorities in Lincolnshire, Leeds, Coventry, Taunton and Yeovil are looking at potential sites.
Protesters claim the new towns could have an impact on transport and jobs.
In addition to the eco-town, which may or may not happen, there are currently three large-scale housing developments in Yeovil.
Lyde Road (Wyndham Estate), Barratt Homes
This piece of land has been bought by Barratt Homes which will construct around 850 homes, with 200 of them set to be built by Barratt's sister company, David Wilson.
So far the main groundwork has been completed on land for 300 homes, and super structures are in place for 50 homes, with around half a dozen expected ready for sale by the end of this year (2010). It is expected to take around seven years to get all the houses built.
Tim Lerner, managing director at Barratt Homes, said: "We've only really been building houses since Christmas, we've been doing a lot of ground works and infrastructure work. The overall work in terms of building out the houses depends on how the housing market goes but it's anticipated to be about six to seven years."
Brimsmore (nr Thorne Lane), Charles Bishop Ltd
This is an artist's impression of how Brimsmore's village square will look
Outline planning permission is in place to build 830 homes in total based on a village layout, with shops, local services and offices.
Charles Bishop is in the process of preparing reserve matters for 480 homes, which is the paperwork needed for finer detail of the plans, like landscaping and design.
The company aims to submit this to the district council in three months' time, with building work planned for autumn 2010 or spring the following year, depending on how long it takes for the council to process.
The second planning application for the remaining balance of the homes is expected to be submitted to the council within 12 months.
Urban Village, Yeovil
The £1.5m secured for the Urban Village will be divided as follows:
- £730,000 will be used to carry out master planning. Around 400 homes, with shops, have been earmarked for the Stars Lane car park site under the Yeovil Urban Development framework and is ready for a developer to take on the project. Planners have imposed eco-town standards to this development to show that Yeovil can successfully deliver an eco-town.
- £750,000, will go towards the Foundry House project run by Zero C, to bring the development up to eco standards outlined by the government. The Foundry House project is also referred to as a Demonstrator project and will have state-of-the-art eco-features, which could range from wood burners, wind and solar or even hydro-powered homes, and will be used as an educational resource.
Councillor Peter Seib, South Somerset's portfolio holder for economic development, said: "Our bid was unusual in that we're starting our eco development with a site which has a listed building on it. The rest of the Urban Village will follow at the same or higher standards."
This is what can be termed as the second phase to the project, (with the first being the Urban Village), which will consist of 5,000 homes, of which at least 30% have to be affordable. No site has yet been decided upon, but over the next 12 months, public consultations will be carried out as part of the town's Core Strategy.
Andy Foyne, spatial policy manager at the council, said: "The government will hopefully give us the funding on the basis that we will be taking those preferred options through the democratic process to come up with an appropriate location."
You can find out more about eco-towns by visiting the government's
Where would you like to see Yeovil's eco-town built, given the fact that there is no specified greenbelt?
Fill in the form below
I live very close to the new Wyndham Estate (too close!). Yeovil used to be such a nice place to live, not anymore. The government, local council and builders are determined to build whatever they want, wherever they want, irrespective of the concerns of local residents. Numerous objections were made to the Wyndham site. Since commencement of the site there have been numerous issues raised but have ignored. I spotted an error in the 56 day application form for the temporary works access, section 16 of the form asks if there any trees and hedges on the development site (where the temporary access is going to be), they said 'no' - well i know there were trees in that section of the park and a Google satellite map confirms this, but still the trees and shrubs were removed. Badger sets have been destroyed in the adjacent field - I thought badgers were protected.
The new roundabout is far too close to the Romsey Road/Lyde Road junction, it is a nightmare getting out onto Lyde Road at peak times. During times of dry spells all houses, cars, washing gets continually coated with dust from vehicle movements. When it is wet the large vehicles dump a large amout of mud on the main road making it slippery, according to the builders this is sweeped three times a day, rubbish! The field they are currently building on acted as soak for heavy rain - which so much building and concrete where is that water going to go now? Where the roundabout is now used to flood very badly - it will be interesting to see if this is still the case. The local infrastructure cannot cope with increases in demand, the sewerage network in this part of town is creaking, the roads are congested, the list goes on and on. I could go on and on about many more things but what is the point. As usual the government has given the builders and council an incentive to go ahead with this project. The builders have a £3 million windfall if they can get the affordable houses available soon. Most of these homes are very small - hardly a good lifestyle. There is inadequate provision for cars - 1.5 car spaces is planned for each dwelling - who works out these figures, experience tells me this is totally wrong. Where are all these people coming from who will be able to afford these homes? Where are these people going to work?
It's just the same with 'employment land' and the proposed business parks. It's all very well building offices but where are the firms who'll occupy them? How many of their own staff will they relocate from elsewhere?
These are ill-conceived plans, which are already making and will continue to make the lives of existing residents a nightmare.
Six more years of the Wyndham Estate, I'm leaving at the first opportunity and taking my business with me.
Kevin Dawe, Yeovil, Somerset
£750,000 on planning? What are you using Gold Ink?
This is a disgrace, Our Local Hospital is massively overcrowded and you go spend £750,000 on planning an Eco-town which may not even happen. I am ashamed. give me a few pieces of paper and a pen and I will Plan the hole project for 7.50!!
The Government and Council are Excellent at spending unnecessary money. In my opinion it is wasted. An Eco-town should be somewhere that people are self-sufficient. To be self-sufficient people must come together as a community in which everyone knows everybody and respects each other, and is prepared to work hard for their community, unlike how most people are today which is selfish and greedy. Of course this is my own opinion which i am entitled to....Good luck with your Eco-town Yeovil because it won't be any good without me. It would be far better for the Ecological Environment if everybody were to live in a tree house. It would be much cheaper too...
Jason Brown, Yeovil
I do not know why South Somerset Council does not hold back 1-2 years for Agusta to move all production overseas and then what will be the former Westland site will provide an ideal opportunity to build the slum of the future.
Ian Boswell, Yeovil
It is not just Over Compton that will be affected, nearby Trent and Nether Compton will be seriously affected by this proposal. All three villages are set in beautiful countryside joined by narrow country lanes. No matter what the specialist traffic management consultants statistics or surveys attempt to demonstrate, the area will destroyed by rat - running vehicles trying to access this eco - development. Where is the eco logic in that ?
I have walked around the eco development in Northampton and it is horrendous, car parking is under provided, surface water management swales are strewn with litter, become bmx tracks in the summer and water hazards in winter. The eco-homes have wind turbines which do not work and are difficult to repair because they cannot easily be accessed.....apart from that its all very nice with its multi-coloured, glass and plastic that will fit in well with the natural honey coloured stone of the Comptons and Trent!! I call upon everyone who has an ounce of care for our countryside to resist this obscene proposal.
Lynne Carter, Over Compton
I know Yeovil pretty well and this is yet another "good idea" that hasn't been properly thought through. It's all very well having these grand ideas of zero carbon, affordable houses, sustainable homes, etc but zero carbon isn't achievable. Houses that are affordable for whom? Not the people who really need them.
Sustainable homes how? Not the way they are being built these days. They are simply thrown up and they are little more than bird boxes for people to exist in. They are too small for people to live in.
Then there are the other considerations: when will the children go to school when there are schools being closed because of insufficient pupil numbers?
What about doctors and dentists? Do they have sufficient capacity to take on several hundred new residents? Let's not forget 1680 new homes does NOT mean 1680 new residents. It means 6720 or more new residents. It means 1680 or more vehicles.
Where are these people going to work? It's all very well building offices but where are the firms who'll occupy them? How many of their own staff will they relocate from elsewhere?
Good ideas are the ones that are properly thought through. Urban villages and eco-towns are NOT good ideas: they haven't been properly thought through.
I agree with Janis Noonan but fear Nigel Pearson is right.
This would be more sensible to build nearer to Glastonbury where the eco mind is in full swing - but it is the future wherever it goes!
I assume there will be communal wind turbines as well as solar panels on each house? Along with eco water systems.
It has to be done :)
Kev Ollier, Wells
The most eco-friendly option for our county, our country and for the whole planet is surely to limit population growth. We must stop having big families! This will happen by positive encouragement to have FEWER children. Yes, more homes will still be needed but not to the obscene extent that planners etc. dictate.
Jennie O'Kane, Frome
There is a growing need for new housing in Yeovil for many reasons, but research has shown that more smaller houses are needed to cater for families who may have split up (and therefore may need to move to two smaller houses, for example). Also as a general rule, people are living longer and that affects the balance when it comes to housing need.
South Somerset District Council Press Office
Why do we need any more houses in this area? New houses mean an influx of new people, who then need new jobs, which need new buildings, which means more land used up. A truly eco friendly solution would be to leave the land as it is. Enough now - leave us alone.
John W, South Somerset
This development in and around Yeovil is just part of the 567,000 new homes to be built in the west country and with the change in planning procedure which allows the government to ignore any protests. There is nothing we can do about this.
Nigel Pearson, Chard
Instead of building "eco-towns" to house surplus population, the obvious answer is to reverse the uncontrolled immigration policy.
Janis Noonan, Crewkerne, Somerset