WORK has begun on a new development of village homes on land once owned by Wiltshire councillor Toby Sturgis.

The project to create 38 houses on a four-acre site at Brook Farm on the edge of Great Somerford, near Malmesbury, will include ten affordable homes.

The start of construction marks the end of a long planning process that began when Cllr Sturgis sold the land in 2006 to a different developer.

The site originally had outline permission for 30 homes with a further eight being allocated through the Great Somerford Neighbourhood Plan in 2017.

Cllr Sturgis said: “This is good news for Great Somerford. The proposed mix of housing will provide opportunities for young families who struggle to afford to buy at present and will help maintain the viability of the pub, shop, and primary school.”

The site was bought by Stonewood from the original developer earlier this year.

The development comprises a mixture of two, three, four and five-bedroomed homes that are terraced, link detached or detached.

Developer Stonewood Partnerships, based at Tormarton on the Wiltshire/Gloucestershire border, said the new homes have been designed to mirror those in the nearby village by reflecting the same exterior finishes – stone, red brick and premium quality roughcast render.

Each home will have designated parking to ensure there will be no overspill into the village.

Stonewood’s own architects took their cues for their design from the village’s former pub The Masons Arms, now a private home, which opened in 1841. Echoes of its stone frontage and late Georgian/early Victorian style can be seen throughout the Brook Farm development.

Stonewood is in talks with a housing association to oversee the allocation of the affordable homes.

Great Somerford Parish Council chairman, Stephen Mansfield, said: “We are really pleased this development is going ahead.”

A recent information meeting in the village, at which the developer presented designs and answered questions, brought some positive feedback. Stonewood director of land and planning Gavin Calthrop, who organised the meeting, said: “Generally people were very positive and encouraging. Understandably there were some concerns about disruption while we are developing the scheme, but we were able to reassure people about how we will minimise this and create a wonderful new addition to the village.”

Site manager Matthew Crook said work has begun clearing the site and refurbishing farm buildings that border an access road from Park Lane on to the development. Construction on the show home will start in the New Year and sales of the first new homes are set to begin next August, with the site due to be completed the following summer.

He said great emphasis is being placed on ensuring the affordable homes match the rest of the development. “The affordable homes will blend in with the rest of the development and they will have just the same high quality of design and finish,” he said.

Stonewood Partnerships is an arm of Stonewood Group, a 45-year-old family firm that has built a reputation for high quality refurbishment of listed homes and has grown to a £50 million turnover business. It is based at Castle Combe and employs more than 200 staff and works with more than 300 sub-contractors.