6, 2015 'Veil
of secrecy' on Apex Park BMX plans attacked as council votes
councillors have this week voted to formally oppose controversial
proposals to lease part of Apex Park to holiday firm Bourne Leisure
in a 50-year deal.
to grant Bourne Leisure a 50-year ground lease for the existing
BMX cycling site at Apex Park were opposed by town councillors
at a meeting on Monday evening (October 5th).
resident Brian Burt, right, urged councillors: "Please
do not let any part of Apex Park be turned into a caravan park.
The district council purchased and developed Apex for the benefit
of local people, therefore every square metre should be retained
for future generations. More so now, considering the hundreds
of homes to be constructed in Highbridge."
proposal is to rob Apex Park of a second area which is twice the
size of the existing car park. It would become a 'no go area'
for 50 years, if not forever, full of more caravans."
councillor John Parkes described Apex park as Highbridge's "jewel
in the crown" and hit out at Sedgemoor District Council's
lack of consultation over the plans for the site.
has been a veil of secrecy - I first brought the plan to the public's
attention. It was hidden deep in an agenda item in a Sedgemoor
Exceutive meeting several months ago," he claimed.
am of the opinion that as a council we need to oppose any move
to transfer the land to Bourne Leisure. I think the BMX club is
a red herring here - if they want to relocate elsewhere that's
a separate issue - and I think the land should be returned to
its former use for the community of Highbridge and Burnham-On-Sea."
Martin Cox said he would like to see the BMX park site being turned
into a "community ampitheatre" in the future for the
benefit of local people.
added: "I just feel there has to be a very, very good offer
from Bourne for us to give up that land - I don't feel they should
have a lease for anything like 50 years."
Hogarth said there remain "lots of unanswered questions"
for him about the proposals, but that on balance he "would
reject the proposals."
Harvey proposed that the Town Council "expresses opposition
to the lease or transfer of land by the District Council to Bourne
Leisure and that the whole of Apex Park remains for the people
of Burnham and Highbridge."
voted in favour of the motion to oppose the plans, except Cllr
Cox who abstained.
Sedgemoor District Council spokeswoman told Burnham-On-Sea.com:
"The land that the BMX Track is situated on within Apex Park
is leased from Sedgemoor District Council. The BMX track and land
are not available for public use but are used by the club for
training and events. The BMX Club would like to expand and are
considering relocating to a different site locally, thus terminating
their current lease. This proposal would exclude housing developments
as the land will not be sold but leased on a long-term basis."
district council - in exchange for offering a 50-year lease to
another party for the BMX site - could secure some funding to
enhance the facilities in the park, for example creating an all-weather
year-round café facility, improving the toilet facilities
and/or extending the park building to allow for increased educational
and event use."
proposals are next due to be considered in November by Sedgemoor's
Executive. Video footage of the debate appears below:
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