Hotel owner awaiting EDF deal to begin £11m overhaul
Hotel owner Derek Mead says the £11million project to transform
the fire-hit property into a modern housing complex is being held
up by EDF's long-running discussions with the government over
funding for Hinkley Point C.
Mead, pictured, recently won approval to build 59 residential
dwellings on the old cattle market site, and redevelop the fire-damaged
hotel into two studio flats, five 4-bed flats plus new accommodation
for the YMCA with a multi-use games area, as reported here.
speaking to Burnham-On-Sea.com this week, Mr Mead said the plans
are being held up by the discussions over Hinkley since EDF may
provide community funding towards the Highbridge Hotel project.
plans were unanimously approved by Sedgemoor earlier in the year
and we're now just trying to get the funding sorted out,"
funding is delaying things in the background until a deal is reached
with the government over Hinkley."
added: "No timeframes have yet been agreed for the hotel
building work, but I would like to see it beginning this year.
All the planning is done and the mediation tests have been completed,
so it's ready to begin once the funding is sorted."
Faun, Sedgemoor District Council spokeswoman, told Burnham-On-Sea.com:
"EDF is due to give '106 funding' to various housing, tourism
and community projects across Sedgemoor to offset its Hinkley
is one of the stakeholders in the Highbridge Hotel project and
it could set aside some of its community funding for the project,
but because of the hiatus over Hinkley C funding, this is being
delayed. It is frustrating but it is completely out of our hands."
While EDF had the design for its reactors approved last year,
it is still waiting for the Government to sign off on the all-important
'strike price'. This is the amount it can charge for the electricity
it produces once the reactors are finished. Because EDF will pump
£14bn into the project, its investors want to be able to
guarantee a return on their investments, hence the discussions
have been long.
Hotel has been derelict since a huge
blaze occurred in April 2008 and negotiations about its future
have been ongoing ever since.