Published: March 10, 2010
Plans for £6m Highbridge housing development gather pace

The developers behind ambitious plans for a new £6million housing development in Highbridge have this week held a public meeting to unveil further details about the huge scheme.

Burnham-On-Sea first reported last month how developers Helmglade and Property Link want to build up to 60 new houses and a 90 bed nursing home on land at Morland Industrial Estate.

The scheme would completely overhaul the area, with the industrial estate being flattened and Morland Community Hall being replaced with a modern new one.

Amid concern from some local residents, Toni and Natasha Hammick from Property Link met over 50 residents and business owners at the hall on Tuesday (March 9th) to gather feedback.

Natasha Hammick told "It was a very positive day - we received a lot of comments about the plans, much of which have been positive."

She added: "There has been a lot of interest in the plans for a new community centre to replace Morland Hall. Since the new facility would be in a more prominent position next to Burnham Road and the school, we are certain it would attract more users and, therefore, additional funding."

Sedgemoor Community Partnership's Richard Matthews, who manages the hall, said he welcomed the proposals, but is keen to hear more details. "We're still awaiting detailed information and won't really know how the plans will impact us until then, but it is heading in the right direction."

Property Link's Toni Hammick said that more than 100 new jobs would be created with the introduction of a proposed new nursing home, adding: "We've already had interest from a national nursing home provider in running the home."

She added that the removal of Morland Industrial Estate poses a "challenge" given the re-location of many small businesses. "The site is coming to the end of its life, it is already half empty, and changes are needed. Close consultation with the owner has already begun."

She added that the 50-60 new homes proposed for the site would be a mixture of 1-4 bedroom affordable properties. "There are no flats being planned for this development," she confirmed.

Toni Hammick also revealed that the proposals are part of a wider project to modernise Highbridge.

"Several other schemes for the town are also being examined. We want to help develop Highbridge - the town has a good future ahead of it. We have already seen improvements with the opening of the Asda store, One Stop in Market Street and the development of Highbridge Quay, and more is being planned."

Residents and local businesses have until this Friday (12th March) to contact Sedgemoor District Council's Duncan Harvey about the proposals.

Mr Harvey said: "No firm decision has been taken to progress with any redevelopment on these parcels of land. Before the Council can make any commitment to any proposal, we feel it is important to listen to local people and other people potentially affected by a future area regeneration proposal."


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