July 4, 2011
new plans for seafront leisure complex in Burnham unveiled
Proposals for a major new leisure complex on Burnham-On-Sea seafront
were unveiled by an entrepreneur on Monday (July 4th) to mixed
reactions from town councillors.
Chatwin - who last year proposed a mini golf course be built on
The Esplanade - announced brand new plans for an entertainment
and leisure complex called Burnham Point during Monday's town
development, on the South Esplanade in front of Burnham Holiday
Village, would consist of an 18 hole mini-golf course, an area
for children's fairground rides, plus 20 seaside chalets.
chalets would be let to the public for day use and be used on
several weekends a year for community events such as arts and
crafts fairs, workshops and tourist events.
Under the proposals, the 20 chalets would be funded by Sedgemoor
District Council at a cost of around £60,000 with Mr Chatwin's
should pay for themselves in four years and provide a profit to
SDC after that, but I am providing SDC with a no-risk guarantee
- if they decide the chalets aren't giving them sufficient income
then I will buy them for what it cost to build them," Mr
Chatwin told Monday's meeting.
Harvey from Sedgemoor District Council, who was present at Monday's
meeting, confirmed the council is considering the plans.
have been hit by a 38 per cent cut in funding over two years,
so this is a difficult time for us to make a decision on a scheme
this, but we will be considering it carefully," she said.
"We will have to go through an open, public tender process
if we were to go ahead."
added that the proposals are due to go before Sedgemoor's Capital
Planning Group on July 14th to be considered.
councillors gave varied reactions to the scheme during Monday's
Helen Groves said: "Personally, I think the scheme sounds
fantastic - our town needs proposals like this to grow and move
Neville Jones said he was concerned whether council-owned shelters
would be removed or taken over, but Mr Chatwin said there were
no plans to change the shelters, adding that a dedicated new building
with toilet facilities is planned.
Louise Parkin raised concerns about the lack of public toilet
facilities along the seafront, adding: "I would be concerned
if Sedgemoor were to spend £60,000 on a scheme like this
when toilet facilities are so desperately needed."
Cllr Mike Mansfield told the meeting he is against the scheme.
"I would like to see this quiet area of the seafront remain
as it is," he said.
Cllr Tom Nicholls gave his backing to the scheme, saying: "This
development would go some way to providing new facilities for
visitors to Burnham, particularly young families. I think it's
a good idea."
Cllr Chris Williams said: "This would be an excellent economic
opportunity for the town but it all depends on what funding Sedgemoor
Paul Young said he also supports the proposals, adding: "This
is a very good idea for that area of the seafront."
Kate Lawson added: "I'd like to see more facilities like
Weston seafront's water park added. There's a real need for a
splash park here."
was support for the plans from Cllr Peter Burridge-Clayton, who
said: "We need more facilities like this in Burnham. I supported
the mini golf plans last year and I support this as well. I am
just slightly uneasy, though, about the changing use of the huts
and I wonder what would happen to them if the scheme were to fail."
Martin Cox raised concerns about the location of the huts given
that they would be "big constructions," however Mr Chatwin
said the structures would be sited on the lawns or Esplanade,
adding that "there have been various discussions on this."
representative from Burnham Holiday Village also spoke during
the meeting, giving a cool reception to the plans.
come to our park to enjoy a relaxing holiday with walks along
the seafront. We would be a little nervous about seeing a more
lively environment introduced here but it is exciting to see innovation.
The scheme is probably not something Bourne Leisure would support,
though," he said.
Wills, Chairman of Burnham Sailing Club, also aired his concerns,
saying: "We have an ongoing problem at the club with litter,
speeding and windows being smashed. Anything that would exacerbate
the problems would not be welcome," but he added: "A
development which is sympathetic to our Victorian town image would
Burnham-On-Sea.com understands Mr Chatwin has been in discussions
with SDC about the scheme for seven months and a website inviting
the public's feedback on the scheme has been launched here.
Chatwin told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "There are still a number
of hurdles to jump, but the scheme could give Burnham a serious
boost if it is approved."
Pictured: (Top) The South Esplanade where the development
is planned; the proposed beach huts and fair rides; and (above)
A map showing the location of the development (click for high-res
Town councillors debating the scheme on Monday evening