Published: July 27, 2011
Pressure mounts on Highbridge Hotel boss to overhaul site

A petition calling on Sedgemoor District Council to make safe the fire-ravaged Highbridge Hotel has been signed by hundreds of residents in recent days as pressure mounts on the owner to improve the site.

The petition was first launched online last month amid safety fears at the site - and in recent days paper versions circulating in Highbridge have been signed by over 300 people.

It comes after hotel owner Derek Mead met Highbridge councillors Chris Williams and Joe Leach plus senior officers from Sedgemoor District Council in Bridgwater last week to discuss the crumbling building's future.

"The meeting was constructive and positive and there was a consensus that improvements are needed but the exact details have still to be worked on," a council spokeswoman told Burnham-On-Sea.com.

Highbridge Residents Association members Tina Gray and Pat Farrow (pictured) are among those collecting signatures.

Cllr Helen Groves told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "There are many individuals pro-actively collecting signatures at present - and the overwhelming response has been supportive of the need for action and anger that no enforcement has been made."

"The views on what exactly should be done to address the issue are somewhat more divided. Some want the hotel restored or the facade preserved and some would like it to be knocked down but not to enable the development of flats. Our target is over 1,000 signatures."

The petition states: "We the undersigned demand that the Executive Committee of Sedgemoor District Council takes action to remedy the dangerous, unsightly and demoralising condition of The Highbridge Hotel. While we recognise that the developer has no intention of remedying the site, and also that parts of the structure are Grade II listed by English Heritage, we ask that the council apply its powers under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 or the Building Act 1984 to take immediate and decisive remedial action."

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.

RELATED LINKS:

Add your name to the petition here

 


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