Published: October 5, 2010
Plans for 14 new flats in Highbridge win outline approval

Controversial proposals to convert a prominent property in the centre of Highbridge into a development of 14 new flats and shops were given a green light by the district council on Tuesday (October 5th).

Sedgemoor's Development Control Committee considered a revised planning application for the redevelopment of Canal House, which is situated next to the junction of Market Street and Huntspill Road besides the A38 roundabout.

Despite concerns from some town councillors, the district council granted outline planning permission for the new building which comprises a restaurant, leisure facilities and 14 new flats, as pictured at the top of this page.

Cllr Joe Leach told "I have mixed reactions to the proposals. This area of Highbridge is run down and old and needs redevelopment, but we need the right development."

"While the modern and tidy look of the proposed building is welcome, I am unhappy that a further 14 small flats are going to built here when larger dwellings could have been proposed instead. I will be watching for the detailed plans with interest."

Another councillor, Cllr Bob Filmer, welcomed the news, telling "I'm very pleased that the Sedgemoor Development Committee was able to grant permission for the outline proposals. When the previous design was presented, it was too large, out of keeping and would have looked totally out of place in this focal part of the town and the committee was right to send it back to the developers and ask them to do better."

"To their credit, they have done just that, the new plans will be an asset to the town, they incorporate a mix of 1, 2 and 3 bed units, a shop/restaurant and an area for leisure activities which will regenerate a tired-looking area of the town and it could be a real shot in the arm for Highbridge."

A final decision on the scheme will not be made until the submission of detailed plans. The development control committee made it clear at Tuesday's meeting that, in such a key location, it expects the detail to be at least as good at what was submitted in the outline plans.

Pictured is how the roundabout will look before and after development

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