Disappointment as 85 new river homes in Highbridge win approval
and residents have reacted with disappointment to the news that
controversial proposals for a new riverside housing development
in Highbridge were approved on Tuesday (June 26th), albeit in
a reduced form.
proposals for the boatyard site near The Clyce were for eighty
five houses, plus ten flats, and attracted scores of objections
from nearby residents, the town's MP and the Town Council.
petition against the scheme was also signed by 91 people amid
concern regarding site access, parking and the additional
strain that the new homes could cause to the town's roads, schools
and doctors surgeries.
at a meeting of Sedgemoor District Council's Development Control
Committee on Tuesday morning, the outline planning application
was approved. The number of units was reduced from 95 to 85, after
the proposed flats were removed, and the maximum height of the
buildings was reduced from 4 stories to 3.
County Council's Highways department raised no objection to the
access fears via Smith Way and members considered the access was
infrastructure concerns, members took the view that the £2m
flood defences proposed as part of the development along the River
Brue will have a wider benefit to the town.
on the committee also took the view that in the current financial
climate the site could not be expected to meet all the other infrastructure
requests, however an "uplift" clause was agreed so that
if the financial climate improves the issues relating to infrastructure
can be re-examined.
the judgement was met with disappointment by several local councillors
Cllr Joe Leach, pictured above, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "I
am extremely disappointed that the District Council have allowed
a scheme which provides zero community benefit. We have got a
town on its knees, and Sedgemoor's answer appears to be to build
even more homes."
am not against homes in general, providing they are viable. At
the moment, they are not. Our GP surgery is struggling, our schools
are over capacity, and our Highways are flagging. When will common
sense prevail, and developers see that they cannot keep piling
houses into a town, without improving the infrastructure to support
am pleased at least that the 10 apartments have been removed,
and that the finer details must come back before the Development
committee, however that is still small consolation for a town
which is crying out for investment."
added: "I am further disappointed by a developer who scaremongers
that flood defences are needed as a matter of urgency. When Burnham
and West Huntspill was flooded in the great storms of 1981, Highbridge
was perfectly safe, as was the town during the most recent flash
flooding locally. It also disappointing Toni Hammick, the developer,
cries 'NIMBY', when the entire town over many years has called
for further investment."
resident Helen Groves added: "Whilst I acknowledge and appreciate
the development control committee have reduced the number and
scale of properties on this site, I am concerned that development
control has failed to address above all other consideration the
ability of the infrastructure to support the increasing population
of the Town."
understand it is a difficult economic climate and fully appreciate
there is an uplift clause. I understand the view that in the future
other developments may make contributions towards infrastructure
but these are all things which are unknown. We do not know what
developments will be brought forward or what benefits and pitfalls
they will bring with them."
Toni Hammick, from developer Property Link, told Burnham-On-Sea.com:
"Some irresponsible people have been spreading misinformation
about this site. The opposition does upset me because we have
received the backing of many expert consultants over the past
"The £2million flood defences which we will be installing
along the river will have long-term benefits for Highbridge, protecting
the town from flooding and allowing future development."