May 29, 2015
New Apex Preservation Group opposes BMX park development

Residents gathered at a meeting in Highbridge this week to air their concerns about the potential sale of Burnham's BMX Park to holiday firm Haven.

A new organisation called the Apex Preservation Group has been formed to campaign against the development of the site at Apex Park.

It comes after we reported here that Sedgemoor District Council had admitted the proposals, but said that there are no plans to build housing on the site, but to refurbish and extend the existing ranger building with upgraded public toilets, an extended meeting room and a new café facility. Bourne Leisure would be granted a 50-year ground lease on the existing site.

This week's meeting, held at Morland Hall, was attended by a dozen local people.

Highbridge resident and former councillor Helen Groves, who led the meeting, said: "Everyone is supportive of the BMX Club - there is a lot of goodwill in the community for this organisation and everyone wishes to see a positive way for the club to develop and thrive. It was felt to be important that it should be very clear that any concern about the land is separate to the BMX Club and its objectives."

"There was concern that this proposal, along with the permissions for the Delta site and issues already existing over boundary maintenance, represent an increasing and worrying encroachment onto the Apex Park, which significantly impacts its current and future use to the public."

Helen, pictured, added: "There is great concern regarding any proposal which would see a transfer of ownership, either by lease or sale of RLT1 land, at Apex Park. Doing so for commercial development, be that business or other use, would by the nature of the development, render the land no longer suited for RLT1 use at any future point. As such, it must be considered whether by lease or sale as gone forever to public recreational uses."

It was agreed that the new group would look to apply for village green status, though all agreed that it is important to work with other parties to find a solution to the issue.

Helen added: "It was agreed to formalise the group for this purpose. It will now operate as the Apex Preservation Group, which is not intended to replace or otherwise interfere with the Friends of Apex as all agreed that they fill a very important role and are valued. This is a group that has a sole focus of addressing the concerns of the community in relation to proposed development and reduction of the park area."

Lynne Hutchinson agreed to act as a point of contact/spokesperson for the group moving forwards.

The group is to hold another public meeting soon when Sedgemoor Distrrict Council, Bourne Leisure and the BMX Club will be invited.

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