New 15-year growth plan for Highbridge is unveiled - have your
Neighbourhood Planning group has published a new plan for the
town over the next 15 years and is inviting residents to have
is being encouraged on the vision for the town ahead of it being
finalised later this year and then formally adopted.
document outlines a number of recommendations for Highbridge,
including a brand new hotel development, additional job opportunities
and improved transport links.
vision states: "By 2032 it is expected that Highbridge will
have passed through a period of change which will have seen the
construction of new housing both within the built-up area and
on the periphery. It will also have seen the expansion of the
Isleport business estate which will have brought significant employment
opportunities to the local area."
a consequence of the new housing, the flood defences on the River
Brue will have been improved, a new Primary school established
on the Brue Farm development, and expansion of King Alfreds
school will have taken place."
addition, the physical linking of the Brue Farm development to
Market Street, plus the investment of S106 money in that area,
will have led to an improvement in the retail offer in this, the
traditional town centre of Highbridge."
goes on to say: "Off-street car parking will have been preserved
in order to ensure the shops are adequately served. The improvements
will have acted as a stimulus to the greening of the town and
to a general improvement in the street scene. Important historical
buildings in the town will continue to be protected."
YMCA development of the Highbridge Hotel will have provided much
needed community facilities and will act as a focus at the important
junction of Market Street and Church Street."
the other end of Market Street, the railway station will be an
increasingly important link to Bristol, Taunton and further afield
and, via good bus connections, with Burnham and the surrounding
concludes: "The investment into, and expansion of, Isleport
Business Park will have increased the range and diversity of jobs
available that are easily accessible to Highbridge and Burnham
as well as surrounding villages. This will have encouraged local
working, higher wage opportunities and reduced levels of commuting
to other centres to the benefit of the local economy. In addition,
the retention and expansion of small industrial/craft units within
the town itself will have enabled businesses to thrive which cannot
afford the higher costs of the peripheral industrial estates."
towns role in supporting Burnham-On-Sea's tourism function
will be more readily recognized through the development of green
linkages to encourage walking and cycling between the towns and
into the wider surrounds. Apex Park will remain the prime open
space for the town but it will be augmented by new open space
at Brue Farm and improved access to the Isleport ponds and the
adjacent proposed public open space. In addition, the opportunity
to create childrens play areas in new or existing housing
developments will have been taken."
for Highbridge recommended
plan recommends a number of changes to Highbridge town centre.
"The land alongside the railway behind the Co-Op store in
Southwell Crescent and extending to Grange Avenue could be designated
an employment site. In the event of this not being possible, consideration
should be given to the provision of car parking for Highbridge
infrastructure, the plan recommends "a master plan should
be drawn up to guide infrastructure and service provision during
the plan period. Consideration should be given to providing for
a new hotel, logically placed near the railway station."
is recommended that redevelopment proposals are drawn up which
change Market St into a people focused town centre for Highbridge
by giving pedestrians priority by appropriate traffic management
measures and re-engineering of the road and pavements."
plan goes on to recommend a "change to both the car park
and Millennium Green to provide an improved public realm and improved
short stay car parking e.g. by paving the Green to provide a piazza
and hosting markets on the car park itself."
the plan also recommends: "Consider whether the usage of
the car park gives scope for landscaping it and building on part
of it to fund the above improvements and possible other facilities
such as a Health Centre, additions to the Community Hall, or further
community uses of the Library."
transport and protecting green spaces
The plan adds: "Consideration should be given to expanding
its parking area if this becomes necessary and to improving access.
Integration of rail and bus services should be part of the Districts
transport plan as should improvement to bus services linking
the station to the Isleport estates, Burnham, and surrounding
villages and settlements."
plan also seeks to protect green spaces in Highbridge. It recommends:
"Proposals that would result in the reduction in recreational
and amenity land in any of Highbridges open spaces will
not be allowed. Replacement elsewhere will not be considered as
an adequate reason for such developments to occur. Any buildings
erected on open spaces will only be allowed if their use is ancillary
to the use of the open space e.g. changing rooms, toilets, cafes."
is recommended that where opportunities arise in appropriate locations
for the provision of toddlers play spaces as a result of
redevelopment, these should form part of the approved plans."
footpaths and cycle ways, the plan states: "We recommend
that a comprehensive review should be undertaken of existing and
proposed footpaths and cycleways with a view to improving their
signposting and filling in any gaps in the network. The aim should
be to achieve a comprehensive coverage of the wider Highbridge
area and to improve routes across the A38, M5, railway and river
including links to neighbouring communities."
to the plan and how you can have your say
Highbridge group's Chairman, Terry Dommett told Burnham-On-Sea.com:
"The group has been working to put forward a document for
public consultation, that gives our ideas on what needs to be
retained in the Highbridge area and what we would like to see
happen in the future to improve the town for the benefit of its
residents and businesses."
covers the future of housing, the shopping area, improvements
to the railway station and its surrounds, protection of green
spaces etc. Our town is growing, and will continue to grow. What
facilities and infrastructure do we need to put into place as
this growth happens?"
survey that has gone out to all residents of the Highbridge area
contains our ideas. Is this the way forward for our town? Have
we got it right? The survey that accompanies the consultation
document will give us the feedback we need to answer these questions."
Harvey, co-ordinator of the local Neighbourhood Planning group,
added: "The Highbridge group has been working hard over the
last few months and they would be delighted to have reaction to
their draft ideas."
paper consultation document is being delivered to households in
the area and the online version is available
here and has more background detail and extra space for comments."
do you think of the vision for Highbridge? Burnham-On-Sea.com
is interested in your feedback - contact