Published: September 7, 2011
Public meeting announced to discuss future of Highbridge Hotel site

The fire-ravaged Highbridge HotelResidents in Highbridge will be given the opportunity to have their say on the future development of the fire-ravaged Highbridge Hotel, it was announced this week.

A public 'workshop' is to be held next month when residents will be given a chance to influence what kind of development and facilities are introduced at the site.

Sedgemoor District Council spokesman Claire Faun told on Wednesday (September 7th): "Representatives from Sedgemoor District Council, Mead Realisations and Burnham and Highbridge Town Council will be in attendance and the session will include a presentation with background information on the site and the opportunity for residents to ask questions and put forward their own ideas for the redevelopment of the site."

She added: "We are working with Mead Realisations, Burnham and Highbridge Town Council and local community groups on both the short and long term future of Highbridge Hotel and Market site."

Derek Mead, the owner of the site"Derek Mead, the owner of the site, recently erected hoarding to the front of the Hotel to help improve the look and security of the site and plans are currently taking shape for an arts project which will see the hoarding decorated with a mural painted by local children and community groups, including the Highbridge Dreamscheme and Highbridge Residents Association."

She added: "It is hoped that the project will, in the short term, improve the look of the site which stands at the entrance to the town and encourage local residents to come forward with ideas as to how the site could be re-developed in future for the benefit of the Town."

"Sedgemoor District Council continues to work with Mead Realisations on the long term re-development of the site with both parties remaining committed to finding a workable solution for the site which will enhance the Town and complement the existing facilities within Highbridge."

The news was welcomed by councillors in Highbridge. Cllr Helen Groves told "I am delighted to see both Mr Mead and SDC are working with a spirit of co-operation with the Highbridge community and have taken onboard the importance of a public meeting."

Highbridge Hotel Blaze in 2008"This meeting is a real chance for Highbridge to make itself heard and it is my sincere hope that those who attend will make the best of the opportunity to secure a positive long term future for this key site. I am very pleased to note the willingness of SDC to make all pertinent information available to the public prior to any final decision being made."

And Cllr Joe Leach told "I'd just like to say, things are progressing. I am pleased with the progress that has been made, and I am glad that people will have their say on the future of this site and the town as a whole."

"It's been long overdue, but I think things look promising and I hope as many people as possible will give their positive input to making this very important site the best feature of Highbridge when it's done."

The date and venue of the meeting is still be considered and will appear on as soon as it is confirmed.

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.

Pictured: The current Highbridge Hotel site, Derek Mead, and the 2008 fire


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