14 , 2013
day arrives for £11m plans to overhaul Highbridge Hotel
pound plans to regenerate the fire-ravaged former Highbridge Hotel
are due to be considered by district councillors today (Tuesday).
of Sedgemoor District Council's Development Control Committee
may grant approval to the major sscheme during a meeting in Bridgwater.
first reported here
in March that hotel owner Derek Mead wants to build 59 residential
dwellings on the old cattle market site to include 23 three-bedroom
homes, 31 two-bedroom homes and 5 two-bedroom flats.
fire-damaged hotel building itself would be redeveloped into 2
studio flats, 5 4-bed flats plus new accommodation for the YMCA
with a public access multi-use games area and cafe.
Case Officer Shawn Fleet has recommended that the scheme be approved.
It comes despite 15 formal objections from local residents, eight
statements in support of the scheme.
and Highbridge Mayor Cllr Martin Cox is in favour of the scheme,
saying: "People have been saying for many years that this
is an eyesore that badly needs tidying up. It's not every day
that a multi-million pound plan comes forward for Highbridge.
To stand in the way of this happening would be crazy. I am in
favour, providing there is a substantial 106 agreement in place
providing new infrastructure for the town."
distict councillor Helen Groves has opposed the scheme, saying:
"The current proposals will fix the cosmetic problems but
fail to address the future needs of the town. The scheme may not
address local housing needs as the evidence base is drawn from
Sedgemoor-wide information and, further, it may not be possible
to implement the restrictions of housing allocation suggested.
As such there may be a greater demand upon infrastructure required
to support this development than suggested within the proposal.
The evidence base for the YMCA hostel does not appear to be based
upon a local demand and I would like to see evidence of a housing
needs study for the area. Some
residents are telling me that any new development here is good,
but others are taking a pragmatic view, keeping an eye on the
future and saying we should not approve this scheme at this time."
Bill Hancock is also not in fabour of the plans, saying: "The
site has far more potential than just more houses and flats. We
need a scheme that will help the centre of Highbridge. I am also
concerned that the hotel itself should be re-developed before
the new houses behind to avoid any possibility of the YMCA funding
drying up and the hotel being left to decay for another 10 years."
councillor Alan Miller says he is in favour of the plans. "I
have been involved in all the meetings regarding the hotel site
and think it is a good thing for the town after many years of
Hotel has been derelict since a huge
blaze occurred in April 2008 and several other smaller blazes
and negotiations about its future have been ongoing ever since.
the new Highbridge housing development will look if it's approved
give mixed opinions on the new Highbridge Hotel scheme