NEARLY 250 new homes near the M5 in Somerset could soon be built if new proposals are approved.

Bickenhall Consulting Ltd has outline planning permission for 248 homes on Isleport Lane, Highbridge, between the motorway and the town’s main industrial area.

Countryside Partnerships PLC, which has now acquired the site, has put forward amended proposals for how the site may be built out, with a decision expected in late-spring.

The site lies north of the B3139 Mark Road, which links the town centre to the Bennett Road and Commerce Way industrial areas, and is allocated in the council’s Local Plan, which runs until 2032.

Access to the new homes would be via Isleport Lane, with a new junction created with the B3139 and a spine road branching off into the site and a new junction with the rest of Isleport Lane being created.

Of the proposed homes, 74 would be affordable.

A community hub would be provided in the middle of the site, which could include a number of retail units or a doctors’ surgery.

A spokesman for Focus On Design, representing the developer, said: “The non-residential retail and community uses are proposed to be located towards the heart of the development in a prominent and accessible location.

“This may incorporate a single use or a mixture of shops, community hall, doctor’s surgery, and/or other uses that are compatible with a residential neighbourhood.

“A large play area is also located towards the centre of the site, complementing the other facilities and providing a logical heart for the new community.”

The delay in signing off the outline plans revolved around the impact of the new homes on Junction 22 of the M5, with National Highways raising concerns the development would increase congestion around the junction.

No more than 100 homes can be delivered until the A38 Edithmead roundabout link to the M5 has been fully signalised.

Somerset County Council put forward proposals in June 2021 to convert the roundabout into a ‘throughabout’ as part of a programme of work to improve the A38 between Highbridge and Bristol Airport, working in partnership with North Somerset Council.

Countryside Partnerships is also seeking to deliver 260 homes on Bower Lane in Bridgwater, with the council expected to sign off on amended proposals shortly.

If approved, the developer and housing association LiveWest will begin construction in the summer, with the first homes available by late-2023.