Published: March 1, 2010
Controversial seafront flats scheme recommended for approval

Controversial plans to build a huge new block of 13 flats next to Burnham-On-Sea beach have been recommended for approval this week.

The proposals to construct a three-storey property at the end of Allandale Road in place of a current house are set to be debated next Tuesday (March 9th) when Sedgemoor District Council's Development Control Committee meets.

However, Sedgemoor District Council's planning officer Chris Gomm has already recommended that the committee approves the scheme - despite 15 letters of objection from local residents and the Town Council's concern about the plans.

Local residents claim the new property's height would be out of scale with all other neighbouring buildings, that the building would dominate the skyline and be out of character with the area.

Residents previously won a bid in November 2008 to get the first planning application at the site, for 14 flats, rejected on appeal by the Planning Inspectorate.

However, since then, the developers Moose Rooper have submitted a new, amended planning application - as first reported here - with one less flat and a different building design that they argue fits in with the surrounding area.

Sedgemoor's Development Officer Chris Gomm agrees, stating in his surprise report to the Development Control Committee this week that the development will "not harm the character or amenity or the adjoining residential area."

He goes on to say: "The application site is located within the Burnham-On-Sea development boundary, outside of an area of significant flood risk, where there is no objection to the principle of residential infill development."

"The application site is currently occupied by a residential dwelling, which is of no historic value or architectural importance, and its associated garden curtilage and as such the proposal will not involve the loss of land of significant recreational or amenity value, land of townscape importance or established or allocated employment land."

"The proposal's design, including the site's layout and the building's bulk, massing, scale and detailing, are acceptable and will not harm the character or amenity or the adjoining residential area and the development will not be harmed by that area. Parking and turning provision is adequate, as is visibility at the point of access to Allandale Road."

But Allandale Road Group's Treasurer, Tom Ashton, told Burnham-On-Sea.com on Monday: "To say that the new property is not in an area of flood risk, even though it would be built just seven metres from the beach, is just crazy. How can say that?"

"The proposed building is still totally out of character to the other buildings in Allandale Road. It would harm this area forever."

And David Jenkins, Chairman of the Allandale Road Group, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "We are all rather surprised that the Town Council's planning committee has suggested the application is not acceptable and yet still the Sedgemoor officer has recommended approval."

"The building is a lot closer to the beach than other seafront buildings along the existing building line. Furthermore, it would also be a very large building that, in essence, is very similar to the first proposed by the developer which was turned down by the Planning Inspectorate."

The residents group plans to have several people at the council meeting next Tuesday and a spokesperson will also stand up and explain the views of the group.

 


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