New figures have revealed the significant progress being made at Orchard Grove, the new 2,000 home community at Comeytrowe – and it includes having a team of 493 people that have planted over 2,750 trees and shrubs, and laid over 1,500 metres of road to build the new development from the ground up. An infographic has been created to show the scale of progress so far and what to expect next.

Work on the new garden community is being led by a Consortium of leading housebuilders – Taylor Wimpey and Vistry Group, which includes Bovis Homes and Linden Homes. Vistry Group is working on this project as a joint venture with South West housing association, LiveWest. Work began at the tail-end of 2020, but last year saw an immense push to deliver vital infrastructure and begin building much needed new homes.

Gathering momentum now, the community is set to develop further in 2022 with a series of ‘firsts’ for Orchard Grove. This includes welcoming the first residents, alongside creating the first of many areas of parkland, and building the first community amenity: Somerset’s first carbon neutral school.

Sue Scholfield, from Vistry Group and the Orchard Grove Consortium, said, “A huge amount of work, investment and skills have gone into establishing this exciting new community. It is hugely rewarding to see how Orchard Grove is taking shape. Much has been achieved already in developing new infrastructure and delivering high-quality new homes. With plenty more milestones in the pipeline for the year ahead, this is a community that will only get better and have even more to offer.”

Key milestones in 2021:

  • During 2021, 493 skilled workers were on site, helping the development move forward
  • Much happened underground to ready the site for construction, including installing over 2,000 metres of drainage
  • 1,500 metres of road were laid to create connections to and within the development
  • Over 2,750 trees and shrubs have been planted so far
  • 1,000 square metres of wildflower seeds have been sown
  • More than 1,600 square metres of turf has been laid by the landscaping team
  • So far, 8 attenuation basins have been created. These are sustainable forms of drainage to naturally capture and control rainwater run-off
  • Forming support for the soil on sloped areas, 800 metres of retaining walls were built
  • A ceremonial brick was laid to mark the creation of the first homes and this will remain in the community as a memento of the milestone
  • Other progress on the community included starting the new A38 junction to better connect the development to Taunton and the surrounding area
  • Planning approval was granted for the first parkland and playground
  • Sales offices opened and Orchard Grove homes went on sale
  • The go-ahead was given for the creation of a primary school, which is set to be Somerset’s first carbon neutral school
  • Comeytrowe Business Park, a dedicated commercial area at the top of the site, was launched and is already attracting interest.

What’s next for 2022:

  • A busy year ahead, 2022 will see the first residents move to the new community
  • The A38 junction will be completed, linking Orchard Grove to the wider area
  • Pocket Park – the first park and playground – will be built and plans will be developed for Horts Park – a major new area of public parkland
  • Construction will begin on the new school, ahead of its expected September 2023 opening. This is a £7.3 million project that will see a 420 pupil school and 60 place nursery created
  • The first allotments will be developed to enable and encourage sustainable living
  • Comeytrowe Business Park will welcome its first business, generating new jobs for the area
  • Construction will continue apace, with miles more roads and transport connections made, vital infrastructure installed, and many more homes built in the new community.