PLANS have been unveiled for an ‘eco village’ of more than 280 homes.

A team has spent a year working with a local landowner on plans to build 215 rented homes which, it says, will be affordable, 44 shared ownership homes and 24 homes for sale at the foot of Watton Hill, which lies in the parish of Bradpole.

The Watton Village SMART (sustainable, modular, affordable, regenerative, together) Community group says it wants to help tackle Bridport’s housing crisis and reduce the number of households on the town’s housing register.

The development land, of 27 acres, will be provided for 35 to 40 years, at no cost, by the Watton Hill Trust, and rents will repay the cost of the development and provide for maintenance over that period.

The group says its ‘ground-breaking’ development will offer a ‘brand new way of building homes for the future that are high quality and sustainably designed, bringing the people of Bridport and its surrounding parishes outstanding living at affordable rents.’

The group delivered a presentation outlining the development to Bradpole Parish Council last Thursday.

The homes will be made of modular sections using straw-filled panel technology which, according to the group, will provide high levels of insulation and durability. Each home will have its own integrated solar roof and individual battery storage system which, it is claimed, will ‘dramatically’ reduce the cost of heating and even offer surplus energy for local use.

The groups says only a small part of the lower slopes of Watton Hill will be built on, opening up new pathways, cycle ways, green spaces and woodlands that will be re-generated and managed long term.

A spokesman said: “Community is another theme foremost in the scheme. Food growing areas will abound with a community centre housing an event space, laundry and small meeting rooms creating a focus for community activities and neighbourly get-togethers.

“The scheme is ambitious and, at no cost to either the local or regional councils, it will offer homes to local working people, young and old, and so important to the life of Bridport.

Above all it wants to be an essential part of Bridport, open to everyone as green open space - a place to walk, picnic and reflect.”

The group will deliver its presentation to Bridport Town Council’s planning committee on September 24.

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