attacked over Apex Park BMX plans as final decision is delayed
and Highbridge Town Council is to be invited to take over the
management of Apex Park, it has emerged this week, as a decision
over the future lease of the BMX track was delayed to February.
proposals to grant Bourne Leisure a 50-year ground lease for the
existing BMX cycling site, allowing it to site 16 caravans there,
were considered at Sedgemoor District Councils Executive
meeting on Wednesday (December 9th).
District Council was attacked by two residents over the proposals,
who questioned the validity of the public consultation carried
out over the summer, which indicated local people are in favour
of the plans.
Wednesday's meeting, councillors considered the outcome of the
consultation and the next steps.
Sedgemoor spokeswoman Claire Faun told Burnhgam-On-Sea.com: "There
was nearly half an hour of debate and members of the Sedgemoor
Executive questioned whether Burnham and Highbridge Town Council
would be interested in taking over the financial and physical
management of the park in its entirety, as it is an asset within
was decided to put that question to them, as the local representatives
of the area affected, with a response due back to Sedgemoor District
Council by the end of January 2016. Dependent upon their response,
a further report will be considered by Sedgemoors Executive
in February 2016."
members of the public, Brian Burt and Highbridge town councillor
John Parkes, spoke during the meeting.
Mr Burt told councillors: "Bourne, it seems, are being provided
with a site orchestrated to their specifaction - all to enable
16 caravans to be added to their existing 800 caravans. Does Burnham
actually need more caravans at such a cost to Apex?"
Parkes, right, questioned the consultation, saying: "There
have been concerns expressed that the 'consultation' has been
superficial and inadequate. Local people are asking the Executive
to consider a proper public consultation with all parties able
to participate and actually obtain a true representation of opinion
and formulate an outcome that will benefit our communities for
years to come."
"There ia a real suspicion that the 'consultation' process
has been designed to roll-up the proposal and planning processes
in the public view to minimise objections. Indeed, the consensus
view locally is that no 'consultation' would have taken place
at all prior to the planning decision had public pressure not
been brought to bear."
He went on to say that the proposed lease 'deal' represents poor
value for local people. "Does this deal represent value for
money to Sedgemoor? Of course it doesn't," he claimed. "The
costs asociated with relocating the BMX track and the costs of
the works on the existing Apex buildings would see total costs
for both in the region of less than £500k. However, what
are the benefits to Bourne Leisure - the gain of a site for 16
or 17 static caravans. If we assume rents of £5,000 on each
one per year that would be an income of £4 million. Even
allowing for the costs involved in servicing these caravans, this
seems a very good bargain for Bourne Leisure and a really poor
one for Sedgemoor."
He added that the community "would definitely lose out in
the loss of land for recreational use at least for 50 years,"
and concluded: "Apex is a much-valued local facility, our
jewel in the crown, and any such monies should be spent for the
benefit of the park or at least for the benefit of Highbridge