Published:
March 17, 2016
550 new Highbridge homes 'will put huge strain on town's facilities'

New concerns have been raised this week on whether Highbridge's infrastructure can cope with a planned development of 550 new homes.

Hallam Land Management has this week unveiled new details about its huge multi-million pound development at Brue Farm, which includes a new primary school, a new nursery and a riverside park, sports pitches and a play area.

But residents are worried about whether Highbridge's existing medical centre, schools and roads can cope with an influx of several thousand extra new residents.

Highbridge Neighbourhood Planning Group Chairman Terry Dommett told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "It concerns me that the new primary school at Brue Farm will not be built until later in the whole project. Given that many of the new properties will be 'starter homes' for families, where will all the children go to school? Our schools and doctor surgeries are full in Highbridge."

He added: "I'm also concerned about the extra traffic that will be generated by 550 new homes. The town centre already regularly gets clogged up and comes to a standstill when a coach or lorry pulls over. All the extra cars will exasperate the problem."

Highbridge town councillor John Parkes added that he is "very concerned about the huge pressures on Highbridge's infrastructure."

"Building work on the new primary school will not start until the 201st home at the site. The town is already under severe pressure with limited school places so this will make the situation even worse," he told Burnham-On-Sea.com.

"There are already 13,000 people on the books at the town's Pepperall Road doctors surgery, yet we don't know when a new surgery will be built or how the existing facilities will cope."

He added that he's asked Sedgemoor District Council to "ring fence" a £200,000 developers contribution from the Brue Farm project. "That money is for the regeneration of Highbridge town centre and I want to see the money properly secured and used only for Highbridge town centre."

"The timing of such a huge building project will also be crucial given that access will be onto Huntspill Road and close to the other big developments at the Highbridge Hotel, the Delta Engineering site and the Clyce Road boat yard. More thought needs to be given to accessing the site and reducing disruption."

Hallam plans to start by building a first phase of homes comprising 49 dwellings which is currently under consideration by Sedgemoor District Council.

The mixed-use development was granted outlined planning permission in March 2013.

The 'reserved matters' plans unveiled this week provide detail about the design, appearance, landscaping, layout of the site.

Residents have until Friday April 15th, 2016 to submit their feedback on the proposals to Sedgemoor District Council. The planning application reference number is 11/16/00024.

 


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