A SOMERSET council is to shell out up to £2M to build 14 new council houses across four separate sites in Bridgwater.

Sedgemoor District Council has been exploring opportunities to deliver new homes in the Sydenham area of Bridgwater by demolishing disused garages near existing residential streets.

The council has awarded itself planning permission to build more than a dozen new homes across four sites, which will require garages and an existing bungalow to be demolished.

Now the authority has published details of the contract for the new homes, with a view that new residents will be able to move in early next year.

Detailed of the planned new housing were published on the BidStats tendering website, with the council due to appoint a contractor by June and expecting the project to take up to 13 months to complete.

A spokesman said: “A modular provider has been selected to provide the buildings and a contract will be entered into between the council and the modular provider.

“We are seeking a contractor to install the units and provide a number of further key elements.”

A total of 14 dwellings will be delivered across the Sydenham area, split over four sites:

  • Six homes across two sites on Avalon Road – permission granted November 2019
  • Four homes on Chamberlin Avenue – permission granted November 2019
  • Four homes on Saxon Green – permission granted January 2021

Bridgwater Mercury: Plans For Four Homes On Chamberlin Avenue In Bridgwater. CREDIT: Quattro Architects. Free to use for all BBC wire partners.

In addition to erecting the new modular homes, the council’s chosen contractor will be required to clear all four sites, demolish the existing bungalow at 1 Avalon Road and demolish the existing garages on both the Chamberlin Avenue and Saxon Green (including the safe and legal removal of any asbestos).

The contractor will also be expected to either provide new access and parking arrangements for the site or make substantial improvements to the existing access and facilities.

Duncan Harvey, the council’s housing development manager, said: “We are committed to building new council houses to meet the ever-increasing demand for affordable homes.

“These exciting developments will aspire to achieve our zero carbon targets, moving away from traditional building methods and use of gas through the use of sustainable technologies such as modern methods of construction, air source heat pumps and photo-voltaic panels, providing very low running costs for the residents.

“They will also be future proofed, allowing for the flexibility to have households with individual circumstances – having varying adaptations to allow for wheel chairs, ground floor wet rooms and through floor lifts.

“The Chamberlin Avenue development will include a six-bedroom property to cater for larger families – a need which has been identified but not currently being met by developers, or within the stock holding of the council or housing associations.

“The scheme will also result in the refurbishment of the play area adjoining the site.”

Bridgwater Mercury: Proposed Site Of Three Houses On Avalon Road In Bridgwater (2nd Site). CREDIT: Google Maps. Free to use for all BBC wire partners.

The council will be entirely funding the new homes on all four sites through its capital programme, with the investment being repaid through future rental income from the houses.

Mr Harvey said that opportunities to use grant funding to bring down the amount of borrowing were still being explored, but added the project would still be viable even if subsidies could not be secured.

He added: “No time-scales have been set presently, with work on-going to secure a contractor.

“We are, however. expecting to start the development in the summer, with the first homes being ready for occupation by January or February 2022.”