The green vision for Taunton’s major new community development, Orchard Grove, is fast becoming a reality, with plans submitted for its first parkland and playground. As the first public green area proposed, the new ‘Garden Park’ will include a 400sqm play area, offering residents and local families an accessible, communal and safe space to relax, play and socialise.
Designed with nature at its heart, the new playground will provide plenty of opportunities for independent learning and outdoor play. It will feature a range of exciting equipment, alongside seating, benches and winding pedestrian and cycle paths. The park will reflect the picturesque Somerset surroundings, utilising natural materials and landscaping, including tree-lined hedgerows, perennials and wildflower meadows.
Also known as a ‘pocket park’, the new green space will be located in the first area to be developed, the Western Neighbourhood, and will offer a safe, walkable link to other areas of the new community. A number of other small pocket parks – as well as a number of large parks – are planned at Orchard Grove, ensuring residents are never far from outdoor space, while also helping to encourage sustainable travel in and around the area.
As the first of 100 acres of planned, open green space, the Garden Park will also include a sustainable drainage feature with the addition of an attenuation basin, which is designed to naturally capture and control rainwater run-off. Slopes, grasses, banks and planting will reflect the character of the local area, while also serving as natural barrier from surrounding roads.
The plans, submitted to Somerset West and Taunton Council, mark a significant step forward in the creation of the 2,000 new garden community at Comeytrowe, which is currently within the first phase of its construction. In time, Orchard Grove will feature an abundance of outdoor space, high quality homes, a primary school, allotments, sports pitches and business park, connected by a variety of green corridors, walking and cycle routes.
Responsible for delivering the vision of the unique new garden community is a Consortium of leading housebuilders- Taylor Wimpey and Vistry Group, which includes Bovis Homes and Linden Homes. Vistry Group is working on the project in partnership with South West housing association, LiveWest.
Sue Scholfield, from Vistry Group and the Orchard Grove Consortium, said: “This is a very exciting step in the creation of Orchard Grove, and we are dedicated to delivering on our green promise early in its development. Outdoor spaces will be an important part of the first neighbourhood, offering a safe and accessible area for families to have fun and play, while also encouraging children to learn about the great outdoors.
“Our commitment to creating a sustainable, green community is at the heart of our shared vision, with the Garden Park set to be the first of many accessible green spaces at Orchard Grove. Located close to homes, residents can utilise these ‘pocket parks’ for everything from a neighbourly meeting to a family picnic, or just as a place to relax and take in their surroundings.
“We are not just providing new homes, but also a sustainable, green community which has been created with the local environment as its inspiration. With high quality new homes, facilities, shared amenities and an abundance of outdoor space, Orchard Grove will truly be a new community with a green difference.”
Glynnis Poole, Planning Technical and Sustainability Director for LiveWest, said: “We place sustainability at the heart of everything we do and are committed to reducing the environmental impact of our activities to create a clean and sustainable future for our customers. We welcome these plans for a new parkland and playpark at Comeytrowe which will promote community spirit and a sense of wellbeing for families.”