Plans have been unveiled for a new timber frame eco housing development in Somerset with the aim of setting a benchmark for sustainable construction in the region.

The development, on a half-acre site in Chard, involves 10 homes being constructed from locally Forest Stewardship Council-certified softwood and hardwood.

Somerset Trust for Sustainable Development has formulated the plans in partnership with Raglan Housing Association and South Somerset District Council.

The buildings will include energy saving features, high efficiency doors and windows, timber floors and timber finishes.

The trust’s project manager Julian Brooks said: ‘We hope it will open up the possibility of sustainable construction becoming the norm, rather than the exception, and that other local authorities will follow the South Somerset lead.’

He added that the design of the development was ‘a vision far removed from the usual uninspired brick box construction’.

It is hoped the homes will be accredited to the Building Research Establishment‘s EcoHomes standards.