Published: April 3, 2011
Plans for 450 new homes in Highbridge receive positive welcome

Proposals to build 450 new homes next to the River Brue in Highbridge went on show to the public for the first time on Saturday (April 2nd) and attracted mainly positive feedback from local residents.

Hallam Land Management held the exhibition at St John Ambulance Hall in Bank Street where the plans to develop 64 acres of land at Brue Farm were unveiled.

Hallam said it will shortly be submitting an outline planning application for the site, which will include a new 270-place primary school, new sports field and riverside park alongside the 450 new homes. first reported earlier this year that hundreds of new homes are earmarked for the site. It follows Sedgemoor District Council's decision last year to identify the land, which is south of the River Brue, as its preferred location for growth in the Burnham area.

Dozens of residents who visited Saturday's exhibition were encouraged to give feedback about the proposals.

Tina Gray, Vice Chairman of Highbridge Residents' Association, pictured above, told "The development could be really good. The proposed new school will be very welcome and is much needed in Highbridge."

"Providing that good quality homes - and not just more flats - are built, I think it could be a positive development."

Hallam's Suzie Birdseye assured visitors that the firm "will endeavour" not to build flats at the site, however she said no assurances could be given so early in the project.

Town councillors were also anxious earlier this year that the development should not comprise of flats, but family houses instead.

Hallam's Suzie Birdseye added: "The development will provide a mix of new 1-5 bedroom properties and a proportion of affordable homes."

Highbridge councillor Joe Leach, who also visited the exhibition, told "This is certainly not the worst scheme we've seen for Highbridge - there are a good mix of homes, the site would be well laid out, and there would be good community facilities."

"There are, though, some concerns around the site itself. Some people are not too happy that it will lead to a loss of green fields and also create a dangerous access point on a sharp corner of the A38. Overall, though, I'm positive about the scheme - Highbridhge needs more family housing."

Another visitor to Saturday's exhibition, Maurice White, who is Chairman of Highbridge Angling Association, pictured above, told he also welcomes the plans.

"It's good to see a new bridge over the Brue being proposed near the railway station and there will also be improved access to the riverside which will be good for anglers, walkers and new residents."

The planning application will soon go to a full public enquiry and be considered by town and district councillors thereafter.


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