A CONTROVERSIAL house building project now has a start date after the developer won permission on appeal.

Housing developer Lovell is set to start work on 80 new houses in Cotford St Luke, after winning out over concerns the development would concrete over ‘green space.’

The plans were unanimously rejected by the now defunct Somerset West and Taunton Council when they were first submitted - with planners citing concerns for grassland.

However the decision was later overruled by a planning inspectorate who gave the go-ahead to the house plan.

The developer has now said work will begin in the summer of 2025, with a completion date of mid-2027.

All 80 homes are set to be heated by air-source heat pumps, with the developer claiming the project will “Have a positive impact on the area’s habitats, plants and wildlife, compared to what was on the site previously.”

James Duffett, regional managing director at Lovell, said: “Completing contracts on this site in Cotford St Luke is a brilliant achievement for us at Lovell and an important milestone.

“These homes will be in a desirable, rural location close to the town of Taunton, with stunning countryside views. At Lovell we put a lot of care into designing our homes to make sure they suit a wide variety of lifestyles, from first-time buyers, to families and second steppers, to rightsizers.

“This development will be the second gas-free community in our portfolio, and we are very proud to be creating a sustainable new place where people can live and work. We are looking forward to commencing work next year and to be bringing our Lovell legacy to Cotford St Luke.”