Published:
March 3, 2016
Controversial deal on holiday homes plan at Apex Park inches closer

Controversial proposals by Sedgemoor District Council to lease Apex Park's BMX track to Bourne Leisure in a 50-year deal to enable it to build 16 new holiday homes on the site have moved a step closer to being approved this week.

Sedgemoor District Council’s Executive considered the plans on Wednesday (2nd March) and agreed to carry that the authority should hold "further discussions" with Bourne Leisure on the scheme.

"The Executive noted Burnham and Highbridge Town Council's support that the management of Apex Park should remain with Sedgemoor District Council," a spokeswoman told Burnham-On-Sea.com.

"They also agreed, subject to agreement in principle being reached between Bourne Leisure and the BMX Club, to hold further discussions between the Council and Bourne Leisure, and that a further report be brought back to the Executive once discussions are concluded no later than six months."

Last month, Burnham-On-Sea.com reported here that Burnham and Highbridge Town Council had rejected a proposal from the district council to take over management of the park.

A report was considered at the Sedgemoor Executive meeting on Wednesday (2nd March) in regards to the proposed relocation of the BMX site currently within Apex Park to a larger site close to Burnham-On-Sea.

The report set out the discussions that have taken place since the previous report to Executive on 9th December.

A spokeswoman explained: "At the December 2015 meeting the Executive resolved that a further report should be presented to members on the potential for the future management of Apex Park by Burnham and Highbridge Town Council, to include the physical and financial management of the entire site, and subject to the conclusion of those discussions members would consider whether to support ongoing discussions with Bourne Leisure and Burnham BMX Club at that stage."

"Following a Burnham on Sea and Highbridge Town Council meeting on 1st February 2016, we received a letter from the Clerk of the Town Council acknowledging that Apex Park is well managed and maintained by Sedgemoor District Council and therefore it is appropriate that it remains within the district councils management."

She added: "In tandem with the Town Council deliberations, officers met with the Trustees of Burnham BMX Club to discuss their business plan and get a better understanding of the level of benefit the proposed business would bring to the local area and to confirm that they were still interested in pursuing the proposal."

"Similarly contact was made with Bourne Leisure by officers to outline the basis on which the Council would consider commencing negotiations and test whether they would still want to pursue this option."

Reaction to the meeting

Highbridge town councillor John Parkes said: "It is good to see that 'party politics' quite rightly are united in highlighting the concerns about the Apex."

"In terms of what was resolved, reference to 'further discussions' would suggest that until SDC see some form of concrete plans in writing from both Bourne and the BMX club stating that this will happen/that will happen, in order that any decisions taken are for the benefit of the wider community, and neither parties may renege on any agreement, then this whole saga will continue to run."

"Nonetheless, it would appear that SDC have already felt there is some merit in the proposals from Bourne Leisure, albeit any final decisions will be made following appropriate planning approval etc."

"As do many in our local communities, I await details of this 'further report' within the allocated timescales. What local people can be assured of is that information relating to the Apex will continue to be brought to the attention of the public."

Above: The 16 holiday homes would be built by Bourne Leisure at Highbridge's Apex Park in place of the current BMX track. The BMX club wants to build a new bigger track at a site near the Oaktree Arena.

 


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