quizzed over plans for 550 homes in Highbridge
councillors have this week quizzed the developers behind major
plans to build 550 new homes in Highbridge, raising a number of
of the town council's planning applications committee met Nick
Duckworth, a director from Hallam Land Management, (pictured)
as they got a first chance to question the firm over its plans
for the Brue Farm site on the southern side of the town.
Councillors were divided on whether to support Hallam's request
for 550 homes or the original proposal of 400 homes.
They voted in favour of 550 although Cllr Helen Groves raised
concerns that Highbridge's infrastructure may not be able to cope
with such a huge new development.
During the two-hour meeting on Monday, Cllr Allan Miller, who
chairs the committee, also raised concerns about the lack of medical
surgeries, he claimed, are already "very stretched"
and may not be able to cope with an influx of new residents. Mr
Duckworth said he was unaware of the problem, but confirmed that
extra facilities may be considered on the site.
Bill Hancock raised concerns that flats and affordable housing
might be built at the site.
"Highbridge has far too many affordable homes at the moment
with some developments jammed full like sardines - that mustn't
happen here," he said.
was confirmed that a wide range of new homes is being proposed
and that large numbers of flats are not planned.
the construction of a new school at the site was welcomed, Cllr
Helen Groves asked whether the county council had given an assurances
that it would be able to provide new teachers. Mr Duckworth said
added that the whole site would take 6-7 years to build, with
the school being constructed in year 2 of the project.
Phil Harvey questioned Hallam on the provision of shops at the
site - something that is not planned - and asked whether Hallam
would consider providing funding to community facilities such
as Highbridge Library. Mr Duckworth responded: "We
would be happy to consider any reasonable community requests."
Martin Cox asked for details on how a colony of newts present
at the site would be handled, as first featured by Burnham-On-Sea.com
here earlier this month.
Mr Duckworth confirmed that the creatures would be moved to new
ponds on the site.
provision of play areas, a new youth club building, access onto
the A38 and adequate parking facilities were also among the other
key points during the session.
application will be further discussed at the next town council
meeting and is not expected to go before Sedgemoor planners before
Duckworth told Burnham-On-Sea.com he felt the meeting "had
been quite positive" and added that it had been "another
small step along the way."