Curo, the housing association and house-building group, has bought the Withies Green site next to the A4 Bath Road in Keynsham which has planning permission for up to 213 homes.
The green light to develop the 25-acre site had been granted by Bath and North East Somerset Council to Mactaggart & Mickel Group. The permission stipulates that 30% of the homes will be affordable. The scheme also includes open space and a sports pitch for the new Two Rivers CofE Primary School on the adjoining Hygge Park development.
Curo is a group of companies that operate in the social and commercial housing market as well as the care and support sector. Curo Enterprise is the trading name of the commercial business that has acquired Withies Green.
Announcing that Curo had bought the site, Mactaggart & Mickel said in a statement that the new development accommodates a number of public footpaths that cross the site and incorporates various green corridors, with open space to the east extending to Saltford.
Nevin Holden, South West regional manager at Mactaggart & Mickel Group, said: “We have a long history as a land promotor and investor, with a reputation built on both community engagement and quality placemaking. On behalf of the landowners, we conducted an extensive stakeholder and community engagement programme prior to submitting our planning application.
“Our priority was to understand what local people need from a new neighbourhood, so that our proposal delivers maximum benefit to the community in terms of new homes and facilities. Our aim is to create a sense of place that local people can be proud of. This site has the potential to deliver much-needed new homes to a well-connected, popular and attractive area. We were delighted to achieve a Building with Nature Design accreditation for this site, ensuring that its green credentials were as good as they could possibly be.”
The development was approved by B&NES Council despite some 600 local objectors whose concerns included the impact on the already congested A4 and the loss of green land that helps to keep Keynsham and Saltford separate. But the council’s planning committee felt the scheme would make a major contribution towards maintaining a five-year land supply in B&NES. They also felt that a good package of measures had been negotiated with the developers, including sustainable transport improvements.
Curo, which built 56 homes at Woodland View on the Hygge Park development, has yet to issue a statement on its acquisition of the neighbouring land. However, it has lodged a planning application with B&NES Council seeking advertisement consent to erect a large ‘Land acquired for high quality new homes’ sign at Withies Green.