What work is taking place at the moment?

Work is well underway on the infrastructure to create a new community. This includes groundworks, installing essential services, implementing ecological measures, and developing roads and transport links. This work takes places across the site to enable construction work to happen and houses to be built.

Each month an update is developed to tell you what to expect on site, providing an accurate and real-time update on how Orchard Grove is progressing. You can read these on our news page and see the how the project is developing on our YouTube channel.

How will people be informed of changes to the site?

This website will be central to keeping everyone updated with news and progress – a monthly ‘what’s happening on site’ is published. Please note that while every effort is made to ensure information is correct at the time of being published, timings may be subject to change.

In addition, the project team is committed to liaising with the local Parishes and Local Authorities to ensure everyone is updated on important issues, made aware of planning applications, and has the opportunity to ask questions.   

How do you deal with queries?

We always seek to answer questions and we do so in different ways. There is a dedicated email where queries can be directed (info@orchard-grove.com). The developers and project team are in regular communication with the Parish councils, including meetings, and plan to continue liaising in this way. In regard to planning applications, we consider all opinions raised, but can only address the issues relevant to the application submitted and within our control. 

Where will site traffic access to the site be?

Access comes off the A38; this is dictated by the traffic management plan, which controls all site traffic on or visiting the development. We can confirm that Comeytrowe Road and Comeytrowe Lane will not be used for site traffic. Within the site itself will be a network of haul roads to transport materials across and around the site. The first section of the spine road, connecting from the A38 junction, will be created early into the development, to reach the primary school. 

When will roads be created?
One of the first element of activity on site will be to develop roads and transport links. This will be necessary to enable site vehicles to get around, but it will also serve a greater purpose for the future. By putting roads in early on, it will enable people to move around and access facilities once homes arrive and will minimise disruption to future residents.
When will the school open?

There is a desire from the education authority for the school to be operational by September 2022. The developers are required to offer the school land to Somerset County Council before the 50th new home is occupied. Given the location of the school land at the centre of the site, the developers will need to construct a significant amount of upfront infrastructure works to make sure the school land is serviceable within a short period of time. We understand that Somerset County Council is keen to fast track the delivery of the new primary school and we are in dialogue with them to help progress this shared goal. 

How will you look after the enviornment and wildlife?
Respecting, protecting and enhancing the environment is central to the vision of the development. Ecological measures will be taken to safeguard wildlife and the natural environment. EDP Environmental is a leading provider of environmentally conscious designs and engineering, and is responsible for ecology on site.
Will there be public transport?
A park and bus service will be established to link in with the existing bus network, providing a regular connection to Taunton and the surround area. It will have provision for 300 vehicles to be parked, to enable people to make use of public transport. The bus route is also expected to extend through the length of the new development, allowing ease of access for residents.
What is the pumping station?
Set to become a community with 2,000 homes, the development will require a pumping station, which is a facility that safely transfers foul drainage away from the site. Most of the pumping station will be located underground. A minimal amount will be visible at ground level, including a kiosk containing the controls equipment and fencing, which will be screened with plants.

It is being designed in accordance with national design guidance to ensure it is reliable and of the highest quality. Modern technology will be harnessed to deal with waste in a safe way that has no impact on the local environmental outside of the facility. The design features will ensure that odour and noise are not an issue, with data automatically transmitted to alert Wessex Water if maintenance work is required.

The flood risk has been carefully assessed and the pumping station and water booster station comply with requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework. There is no physical connection between the pumping station and the stream; this prevents the possibility of contamination or overflowing. The design includes measures that ensure waste is safety dealt with via pipes – with 330,000 litres of additional secure underground storage and a host of safety features also in place.

Why has this location been chosen for the Pumping Station?
The pumping station is being designed in accordance with national design guidance to be reliable, high quality and in an appropriate location. As the lowest part of the site, this is the optimal and most effective positioning for drainage. Extensive dialogue has been held with relevant organisations, including Wessex Water, to determine the best location for the facility.

However, public feedback matters, and we have taken it on board and factored into our plans. We are subsequently making an amendment to the plans that should alleviate public concerns. We now propose to re-locate the Foul Pumping Station outside of the flood plain, on land not at risk of flooding. This also reflects the comments received from the Drainage Board. The location will be reviewed by the Local Planning Authority as part of the planning application process.

What measures are being taken regarding flood protection?

Our team of experts have been carefully considering the local landscape to mitigate the risk of flooding, as well as looking at the best sustainable drainage solutions for the development. The requirements of the Flood Risk Assessment will be met across the site. In addition, a surface water drainage strategy has been agreed with the Lead Local Flood Authority, which is consulted on major planning applications. 

What about the Eastern neighbourhood and business park?
These are either in the very early stages of planning, or not at design stage yet.
How will future residents be impacted by construction?

Every effort will be made to minimise the impact of the building process on residents. Homes will be built within ‘parcels’, which means residential areas will be completed in segments, allowing the construction work to move on and away from newly built homes. A detailed Construction Environmental Management Plan will be submitted by the developers and approved by the Local Authority for each reserved matters planning application, which will show how work will take place in a way that gives ample consideration to those living in the area. 

What will the junction look like at Honiton Road?

A roundabout at Honiton Road has been approved within the Outline Planning permission, with the approved access plan setting the position and layout of the new junction. In time, the developers will prepare a more detailed design, which will consider the junction in more detail, including improvements to public realm and landscaping.  

What is the plan for Dipford Road?

Around 250m west of the junction with Honiton Road, the new main road within the development will cross Dipford Road. The detail and form of the junction will be determined at the reserved matters stage of planning. The recommendation will be to close Dipford Road east of the proposed junction to prevent access through the development site. Dipford Road would, in effect, become a cul-de-sac from Honiton Road. Access to the western side of Dipford Road would be available from within the development site.