The regeneration of North Taunton Woolaway project brings more than just new homes but supports the growth within the local economy and offers health, environmental and employment opportunities.
The project offers the council the opportunity to maximise the social investment for the benefit of the community now and in the future.
The project will complement the council’s objectives of:
- delivering more new homes
- providing great customer service
- improving our existing homes and neighbourhoods
The successful completion of the North Taunton Woolaway project is a priority for Somerset Council.
The regeneration scheme, based in North Taunton, is a high priority project which will replace defective housing by delivering new and more sustainable homes for our tenants.
We recognise that to achieve this we need to ensure that we communicate effectively with the North Taunton community and our stakeholders.
Since 2017, we have been working in partnership with residents and stakeholders in North Taunton on finding the best solution to manage the large concentration of Woolaway properties in the area.
Woolaway homes can suffer deterioration that may affect their life span and the Government has universally designated this house type as defective. However, these homes are still safe to live in.
Following public consultations, and meetings with the design group and other partnership agencies, 3 final designs were created:
- Option 1 – refurbish all Woolaway properties
- Option 2 – refurbish and replace some Woolaway properties (potential for additional houses)
- Option 3 – replace most and refurbish some Woolaway properties (potential for additional houses and community facility)
It was decided by the council, stakeholders and residents within the development area that the preferred option was option 3 – replace most and refurbish some Woolaway properties.
In December 2018, the council submitted outline planning permission for the whole development as well as detailed planning permission for phase A due to the development being constructed in stages.
Please note: at the planning committee meeting held on Wednesday 27 March 2019, planning permission was granted for both the outline planning and phase A applications.
We are working closely with tenants and homeowners within the development area and will be providing support throughout this project.
The proposed scheme will provide between 227 and 230 new build homes and refurbish 27 existing council homes through a phased approach.
There will be a net increase of 67 to 69 new homes as a result of the overall scheme.
The scheme has been divided into 5 phases A-E, these are illustrated on the plan below.
Phase A includes five separate sites, one north of Ludlow Avenue, one south of Cambridge Terrace, one north of Bodmin Road, one west of Dorchester Road and Wells Close and the site on the corner of Rochester Road and Dorchester Road.
- Vacant possession of phase A was obtained in winter 2019
- The demolition of phase A completed in Autumn 2020 by LA Moore
- Appointment of ENGIE (now known as EQUANS) as the preferred contractor in March 2020
- ENGIE takes possession of Phase A site June 2021
- Groundworks commenced August 2021
- The first Phase A properties completed and let May 2023
Together with ENGIE, we took part in a ground-breaking ceremony at the site in Wells Close, Taunton, on Wednesday (22 September).
On 31st January 2023, Equans informed the Council that it has decided not to take on any new work in the South West region and this includes future phases at North Taunton. Equans stated that this decision has been taken in light of many challenges and their lack of confidence in securing a sustainable pipeline of developments in the South West region. The completion of phase A properties is unaffected by this decision and Equans will complete their current contract obligations.
Phase B includes properties in Durham Place and Oxford Place.
- Phase B became a live decant phase in December 2020
- Vacant possession was gained in spring 2022
- Phase B is currently being prepared for demolition
- We are now procuring a demolition contractor to start on site in the Autumn 2023
Phase C includes even-numbered properties at Hereford Drive, Southampton Row, parts of Dorchester Road, Dover Road and parts of Rochester Road.
Phase A is currently under construction and phase B and phase Ci are the next phases for development.
The council has been working with EQUANS to review the future phases to enable a rolling construction programme to deliver the new homes more quickly.
Therefore phase C has been split into 3 sub-phases Ci, Cii and Ciii.
- Phase Ci became a live decant phase in November 2021
- Planning Permission Granted – phases B to C have now been approved and the council is eager to agree on the contract for the development of the next phases
- Phase B and the void properties in phase Ci are now being prepared for demolition
Phase D includes odd-numbered properties in Hereford Drive, odd-numbered properties at Ludlow Avenue with parts of Rochester and Dorchester Road.
- Phase D has outline planning permission and full detailed planning permission was submitted in July 2021.
Phase D has now been divided into Di and Dii. Di will be the site of the new site compound to allow the next phases of construction to take place.
- Di became a live decant phase in August 2022.
Phase E includes even numbered properties at Ludlow Avenue, some properties at Bodmin Road, and Dorchester Road.
Phase E is the refurbishment of the 27 council-owned defective Woolaway type non-traditional constructed homes.
Unfortunately, following a second procurement exercise for the retrofit, we regret that the council has not been able to appoint a contractor able to refurbish the properties within the budget available. We will now start a new appraisal of the options for the phase E homes and make decisions about the empty council homes.
The council is keen to ensure that as the estate goes through changes, all residents continue to receive services to a high standard. The council is responsible for making sure the estate environment remains tidy and that tenants continue to receive a good housing services.
We are applying a business-as-usual approach to our service so please remember to report repairs and any estate or tenancy matters through your usual contact numbers.
Jobs and training opportunities
During this project, the council and EQUANS are aiming to maximise local employment and training opportunities. We aim to do this through a plan which will incorporate work experience, employment opportunities, employability workshops, and training.
We will post local job opportunities related to the project here and on our Facebook page. Previous roles include:
- Gate person
- Groundworks supervisor
- Plant operators
- Telehandler operator
- Roofers (slate and tile)
- Contracts manager
- Graduate quantity surveyor
- Site fitter – operative
- Site fitter – skilled supervisor
For more guidance and support in employment visit our community employment hubs.
The project team are committed to communicating effectively with residents. We aim to keep all stakeholders updated and involved.
Community representatives support the creation of newsletters, factsheets and documents to share relevant information. Please see our North Taunton Woolaway Project Documents page for examples of our communications.
We also have a Facebook group as another key way to share project progress.