Published: May 30, 2013
Objections over plans for 35 flats at Tucker's garage site in Burnham

Controversial plans to transform a derelict garage site in the centre of Burnham-On-Sea into two modern blocks of 35 flats have this week been given a 'thumbs down' by town councillors and local residents.

Abracore Limited is seeking planning permission to build a pair of four-storey buildings to form 35 retirement apartments at 49 Victoria Street, as first reported here.

The site was previously occupied by the former Tucker's Garage, pictured below, which was demolished six years ago, leaving the site empty ever since.

The Town Council's Planning Applications Committee met this this week to consider the scheme and raised a number of objections.

They are concerned that the 19 planned parking places will be "inadequate", that the new access road to the site would be dangerous, that the buildings would be out of keeping with surrounding properties.

Cllr Phil Harvey said: "The planned access point is in the worst possible place for Victoria Street - this is a narrow spot where parking takes place immediately opposite."

Mayor Martin Cox added: "I don't feel these modern four-storey buildings would fit in with the current street scene at all. They would be inappropriate for a conservation area."

How the old Tucker's Garage site looked (photo Nuuk)And Cllr Chris Williams added: "This area of town currently does not have enough parking facilities - this development would put considerable pressure on the few spaces in the area."

The application has also drawn objections from nearby residents.

Alex Turco from Positive Wealth Creation in Victoria Street said: "While we welcome proposals to develop this site, this application is inappropriate."

He and other residents raised concerns about the access road, limited parking, over development, contamination risks from the old underground fuel tanks and over-development in a Conservation Area.

Mr Turco added: "Parking opposite the access road on the street would have to be removed for safety purposes, which is an unacceptable loss for local businesses and other residents, particularly given the lack of parking proposed in this development. There is only limited on-street parking in Victoria Street and use of this by visitors to the development would affect the ongoing viability and vitality of local businesses, particularly the Post Office."

St Andrew's Churchwarden Bruce Poole said the church's committee is concerned about parking. "While we are not formally objecting, members are of the view that insufficient spaces are being provided within the development. It is clearly evident that when insufficient spaces are being provided, occupiers will need to find other alternatives and as our church hall car park is not too far away, we believe the increased use of our car park by non hall users will exacerbate the already difficult problem."

Others objecting include several local residents and the Environment Agency, which has raised concerns about the increased risk of flooding.

In its planning application, Abracore says the "proposals will serve the community and create an attractive addition to the existing street scene, both adding to and enhancing the character of the area."

It says the proposed development of one and two bedroom apartments would be accessed from a new road located to the northern edge of the site directly off Victoria Street which would "allow for maximum visibility for both vehicles and pedestrians."

Sedgemoor District Council's planning department is currently accepting feedback on the scheme - application number 11/13/00038 - until May 31st and its Development Control Committee is expected to then consider the scheme before a final decision is taken on whether to allow the development.

Pictured: Above, how the proposed modern new buildings would look in Burnham's Victoria Street if approved


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