Published: July 31, 2012
'Fight For Highbridge' group seeks judicial review on 85 new homes

Over 50 members of a new campaign group who are striving for a brighter future for Highbridge have this week begun drawing up plans to launch a judicial review into controversial plans for 85 new riverside homes in the town

Members of the 'Fight For Highbridge' campaign group - which was formed in June by concerned residents - met on Monday (July 30th) for the first time.

The controversial plans for the Clyce boatyard, pictured above, which were approved by the district council in June, were one of the hot topics at the meeting.

The group wants to take the decision to judicial review, although this hinges upon the willingness of community interest solicitors to take the case forward.

The group also discussed concerns regarding the possibility of future development of Queen Square in the town, with residents voicing fears that a new application could be submitted soon. However, no formal plans have yet been submitted to Sedgemoor District Council.

Residents also expressed concern regarding the lack of investment within the town, citing difficulties in accessing services such as doctors. There was also lots of concern regarding the poor provision of school places, as recently highlighted by here.

Many residents also expressed disappointment about the low image of Highbridge within the wider area, stating that they like the area that they live and they want to improve the image of the town generally.

It was agreed that residents would like a bigger influence upon the planning decisions which affect the town and they would wish to see a better provision of services and facilities, particularly those for the young within the town of all ages such as parks, play spaces and youth facilities.

Residents agreed they felt the planning process did not seem to take account of the needs and aspirations of Highbridge and it was felt this did not support or promote Highbridge in a positive manner. It was agreed a 'residents vision' for Highbridge should be developed in co-operation with local authorities.

One of those who attended, Highbridge councillor Helen Groves, told "I am delighted to see the first meeting of this group was so well attended and the aims and aspirations are positive and realistic, seeking as a group of residents to bring supportive influence to the future of the town and a direct and politically independent voice for residents."

"It is clear that residents are deeply concerned about issues such as infrastructure and inappropriate development. Many are expressing their unhappiness with 'broken promises from Sedgemoor', regarding the number of flats which have recently been approved within the town."

"However, the group has recognised a need to build a positive working relationship with all tiers of local government to help identification of the town's priorities and needs. I wish them every success and will be delighted to offer any support I am able moving forward."


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