October 30, 2015
£400k of Highbridge community funding may not be spent until 2022

Almost £400,000 of earmarked community funding for Highbridge may not be spent in the town until the year 2022, it has been confirmed this week.

Sedgemoor District Council says the cash was obtained as part of a Section 106 agreement put in place in 2012 following the expansion of the town's Asda store.

As first reported by here earlier this month, the money has been earmarked towards the cost of improving and enhancing Sedgemoor District Council’s public open space at Isleport Ponds.

But the council said this week that consultation about the work has not yet begun because the money can be spent anytime within ten years of being allocated.

Claire Faun, Sedgemoor District Council's Corporate Relations Manager, told this week: "Sedgemoor District Council has owned a parcel of land to the north of the ponds near Isleport Business Park for over 20 years. It was bought in anticipation of being a 'green lung' area next to the business park."

"There is access via a public footpath from Bennett Road, over a rhyne and via another footpath from Springfield Road, which includes a pedestrian crossing over the railway. Neither of the access ways are as desirable as the Council would wish."

"In 2012, Sedgemoor District Council received £399,868.15 in contributions from a S016 agreement for the Isleport Pond Open Space towards the costs of improving and enhancing Sedgemoor District Council’s public open space at Isleport Ponds."

"The contributions are for public open space and pedestrians links. Clearly, the spending of such a large amount of money is not to be considered lightly and the Council will need to take the time to make sure it is spent to the maximum effect for the enhancement of public open space for the residents of Highbridge."

"The Section 106 Agreement requires that the Isleport Ponds Contributions are spent no later than 2022."

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