WORK will start in June on 78 affordable homes on a brownfield site in Bridgwater.

Housing association LiveWest and Countryside have exchanged contracts to develop the parcel of land at Bower Farm.

The first homes are likely to be completed towards the end of 2023.

The 260-home development will include 78 affordable homes for rent and shared ownership.

Of those, 26 be delivered under Section 106 'planning gain', while funding from Homes England, the government’s housing and regeneration agency, will support the delivery of a further 29 homes for affordable rent and 18 for shared ownership.

A key priority for Countryside is the acceleration of Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) to reduce construction waste, speed up delivery of much-needed homes and significantly reduce the embodied carbon of a home during the construction process.

The homes will incorporate air source heat pumps which extract renewable heat from the outside air.

It is the first time LiveWest and Countryside have partnered on a major housing building project.

Sharron Taylor, new business manager for LiveWest, said: “We are delighted to partner with Countryside to develop much-needed homes for local people.

“The mixture of affordable rent and shared ownership will ensure these homes are genuinely affordable at a time where the disparity between average earnings and average house prices is growing.

“We are committed to building vibrant communities and helping to make sure people can remain local.

“We are excited to be not only supporting local housing needs but also providing sustainable homes for the future.

“The air source heat pumps will have a positive impact on the energy performance of the homes and help customers save money on their fuel bills.”

James McLoughlin, partnership manager at Countryside, said: “The South West is a new region for Countryside and we’re delighted to have partnered with LiveWest to deliver these affordable homes on our site.

“This is our first project with LiveWest and we hope to build on this relationship going forward, partnering to deliver affordable homes for local people.

“This site has been vacant for some time so it will be great to see it transformed into much-needed homes for the town.

"We’re currently seeking our reserved matters planning consent and hope to be on site constructing these homes this summer.

“Delivering sustainable homes is at the heart of what Countryside do and the carbon footprint of the homes we produce in our factories is 25 per cent less than that of traditional brick and block construction.”