Published: October 3, 2013
Demolition of Highbridge business park for homes is 'a crying shame'

Residents in Highbridge have this week said a decision to allow a business park in Highbridge to be knocked down and replaced with 62 new homes is a 'crying shame'.

As first reported here by on Tuesday, members of Sedgemoor District Council's Development Control Committee voted by seven votes to three to approve the re-development of Morland Industrial Park.

Tina Gray of Highbridge Residents Association said: "To put more dwellings into a deprived area without putting any extra infrastructure in place first is a bad thing."

"And to actually remove business premises and businesses to make way for more dwellings is a crying shame and can only add to more problems in a deproived area."

And councillor Helen Groves says she is concerned about how Tuesday's meeting unfolded.

She told told "I am very concerned that much of the information presented was apparently only offered to Sedgemoor that morning and was not seen by the committee itself."

"The committee was advised that Lloyds Bank would be repossessing the premises in December and all the businesses would be forced to leave. The business people did not have this information because I went and spoke to some of them directly after the meeting and the committee were incorrectly advised that they knew."

"Further, having spoken to a few people within the banking sector, I have doubts as to whether Lloyds would in fact evict sitting tenants if they repossessed. For that reason I am quite concerned that the committee based their decision on this 'new' information without seeing evidence."

"Further, despite virtually every member expressing deep concerns with almost every aspect of the application, the planning officers acknowledging it does not meet planning legislation on multiple issues and members expressing they felt the application was not complete and information required was not present all but three pushed it through instead of taking the proposal to defer the decision to allow time for the application and information to be completed and for a site visit to be organised."

"It is a great shame that yet again the interests of Highbridge have been pushed aside in favour of a private developer who has little care or interest in the impacts to our community nor the devastating effect this development will have on peoples livelihoods and access to services such as schools, roads and doctors."

Pictured: Top, Tina Gray and Kim Chatwin of Highbridge Residents Association with Cllr Helen Groves, and, above, the Morland Business Park


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