District Council defends its silence over Highbridge Hotel discussions
District Council has this week defended its decision not to make
any comments on the future of the fire-ravaged Highbridge Hotel
despite the owner speaking out about his plans for the site.
comes after hotel owner Derek Mead told Burnham-On-Sea.com here
about proposals for 60 new homes, shops and a youth hostel for
week, Sedgemooor District Council's Claire Faun told Burnham-On-Sea.com:
"With the Highbridge Hotel an acknowledged major eyesore
in the centre of the town since the devastating fire in 2008 the
owners of the site, their architects and advisors together with
the District and Town Councils have been investigating different
ideas of how the building and the wider site may be used in the
future. With elements of the Grade II-listed building still standing,
the challenge to secure a viable and achievable solution is immense."
have been many meetings with interested parties and the owners
over the years as to the redevelopment of the whole ex-market
site and re-use of the former hotel badly damaged by fire. As
with all schemes of this nature, some ideas that are presented
are not feasible, practical or affordable."
group comprising of councillors from Sedgemoor District Council
and Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge Town Council together with council
officers, landowners and other potential partners have met over
recent months to discuss and develop some imaginative ideas linking
into current proposed initiatives in the town which could act
as a catalyst for the site and for Highbridge in a wider sense."
with any potential development, there are confidential discussions
between developers; owners and other parties during the early
and delicate stages of negotiation. Should the owners/developers
wish to comment publicly on their proposals; that is their prerogative."
Sedgemoor District Council is the planning authority to which
any planning application will be submitted, it cannot comment
on any potential uses until a planning application is received,
where it will go through all the normal consultation processes.
SDC can only comment on a submitted application; the Council will
not give informal views as to any information or rumour that is
and when, a planning application is received, then Sedgemoor District
Council will assess the scheme as put forward on its own merits
and details at that time, within the SDC policy framework."
planning applicants are encouraged however to engage in proper
consultation with the local community and Town Council to gain
support for the principles of their proposals prior to submitting
any application to the District Council."
The hotel this week and, above, the fire at the property in 2008