Published: July 6, 2011
Owner of 'eyesore' Highbridge Hotel to attend crucial meeting

A crucial meeting is set to be held later this month when the future of the fire-ravaged Highbridge Hotel could finally become clearer.

The building's owner, Derek Mead, (pictured) has agreed to meet Highbridge councillors Chris Williams, Mike Mansfield and Joe Leach, along with senior officers from Sedgemoor District Council, in Bridgwater on Tuesday July 19th to discuss his plans for the crumbling building.

"This will be a very important meeting that could shape the future of the site and pave the way for its development," Cllr Joe Leach told this week.

"We will be telling Mr Mead that we want him to fully consult with the community of Highbridge over any development plans."

"It's very important that the people of this town get their say on whether it's knocked down, preserved or developed."

Cllr Chris Williams added: "In its current condition it is an exceedingly unattractive entry to Highbridge. Its deterioration, safety and appearance have already been discussed with SDC's senior management team and we intend to discuss these with Mr Mead on July 19th."

Cllr Mike Mansfield added: "The future of the building is solely up to its owner. We need to get him to move on the re-development which will be difficult."

Cllr Helen Groves said this week she welcomes the meeting, and added: "There is a lot of sentiment about this building among local people. Residents must be consulted on its future."

And Cllr Kate Lawson said during Monday's town council meeting: "Derek Mead needs pressure put on him - it's not a quick fix we are seeking but one that achieves the right long-term solution."

The former Highbridge Hotel has been derelict since a huge blaze in April 2008. The cattle market site at the rear of the building has also not been used since the final market was held there in 2009.

We recently reported that several users of's discussion forums had launched an online petition here calling for action.

The hotel was recently named the county's biggest eyesore by listeners of BBC Radio Somerset during a vote.


Add your name to the Highbridge Hotel petition here


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