PLANS have been unveiled for 29 homes to be built on one of the most sensitive heritage sites in Wellington town centre.

Gadd Properties Ltd wants to convert The Court former care home, in Courtland Road, and build in the grounds of the property, which it bought from Somerset County Council during the coronavirus pandemic.

It would involve demolishing the nearby Popham House, a former home for the blind built in the 1950s, and extensions to The Court itself, which is a grade two listed building dating to about 1840.

Each of the three floors of The Court would be converted to a single two-bedroom apartment, and 23 detached and semi-detached two, three, and four-bedroom houses built in the grounds together with a terrace of three smaller properties.

Stephen Baimbridge, of agents Greenslade Taylor Hunt, said access from Courtland Road through the 2.5-acre site to Mantle Street for pedestrians and cyclists would be reopened after it was closed during the pandemic.

Mr Baimbridge said the new homes would be traditionally proportioned, heritage style, two-storey dwellings with slate roofs and either in facing brick or white painted render, and would have sash windows with stone cills and either a stone or brick soldier course lintel.

The Court Popham House SWT Wellington housing planning
A view of The Court, Wellington. (Cotswold Archaeology)

He said the design and lay-out would respect the sensitive heritage of the site and would provide an improved view of The Court frontage.

Mr Baimbridge said the new development would eventually mean fewer phosphate emissions from the site than when it was previously used.

This meant the housing scheme could be delivered in the short-term and not be held up as had happened with many major schemes because of a requirement to prevent more phosphates draining onto the internationally important Somerset Wetlands and damaging wildlife.

Mr Baimbridge said consequently, Gadd’s application would help Somerset West and Taunton Council (SWT) redress its five-year housing land supply deficit.

He said because the development was using ‘brownfield’ land and providing less residential floorspace than already existed, there would be no need to include any ‘affordable’ housing.

SWT is carrying out public consultation on the proposals until March 3 and has set a target date for the application to be determined by May 10.