Published: March 19, 2013
Five years after blaze, new plans for Highbridge Hotel site are revealed

Five years after a huge fire tore through the Highbridge Hotel, long-awaited plans for a re-development of the site have been unveiled this week.

Owner Derek Mead has announced major plans to build 59 residential dwellings at the old cattle market site to include 23 three-bedroom homes, 31 two-bedroom homes and 5 two-bedroom flats.

And he has proposed that the hotel building itself will be redeveloped into 2 studio flats, 5 4-bed flats plus new accommodation for the YMCA and a public access multi-use games area.

The architects have designed the new building to retain as much of the old hotel's character as possible, as pictured above.

Public consultation on the new scheme by Sedgemoor District Council is already underway and a dedicated exhibition will be held in Highbridge Community Centre shortly for residents to see the plans in detail.

The Highbridge Hotel has been derelict since a huge blaze occurred in April 2008 and negotiations about its future have been ongoing ever since.


This week's unveiling of the plans has been welcomed by residents and councillors in Highbridge.

Burnham and Highbridge Mayor Ken Smout told "We have been trying for a long time to enhance this eyesore but because the land is in private ownership we have struggled to find a plan that was financially viable while also suiting the needs of the town. We have had to be realistic about what can be achieved, but I am optimistic that with feedback and support from the community we can see the site tidied up and a new modern site built in its place."

Cllr Helen Groves added: "I am pleased to see this proposal has finally reached a point at which the promised and long-overdue public consultation may begin. I strongly urge residents of Highbridge to look at this application with great care and to make known their views. Whether they attend the consultation days or view the application online, this development will have significant and lasting impacts. I would ask residents to get in touch if they have concerns, oppose this or wish to support the application."

And Cllr Peter Burridge-Clayton told "I am delighted we have now got to the stage where a formal planning application has been submitted. This area is the gateway to our towns and is probably the most important area of Highbridge to be developed. I thank all those that have worked very hard in bringing this scheme to where we are today."

Highbridge Residents Assocaition's Tina Gray added: "It's good to see some plans put forward and some movement here after so many years, but without substantial infrastructure improvements for the town I question whether Highbridge can support more development. We need extra doctors surgeries, schools, recreation facilities plus drainage and sewer systems to support the growing population."

And Cllr John Woodman told "I am supportive of any plans that are positive for Highbridge's development. We need new houses - but definitely not more flats - so I am pleased to see some progress in developing the site along these lines."

An architect's 3D drawing of how the former hotel building will retain its character while being modernised with new flats



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