plans for sports hall and flats unveiled for Highbridge Hotel site
boss of a multi-million pound project to transform the former Highbridge
Hotel site into a modern, new community facility has this week unveiled
new several changes to the scheme.
Somerset Chief Executive Martin Hodgson, pictured, who is
leading the project, told Burnham-On-Sea.com this week that after
"frustrating" delays, the project is now moving forward.
crumbling hotel was finally demolished earlier
this year, eight years after a huge
fire destroyed the Highbridge Hotel in April 2008.
With the help of major grant funding, the YMCA is to build a modern
new premises with affordable flats and a bigger than planned community
Hodgson told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "Having now taken time to
review the initial planning consent, the YMCA has been able to further
develop the scheme so the Highbridge Hotel can offer more for the
communities of Burnham and Highbridge."
initial planning application formed part of a larger application
and to this end the YMCAs input was limited. We now feel that
the tweaks we have done to the scheme not only deliver what was
promised from the original scheme but more community facilities
and in the right format to be able to be sustainable for the future."
scheme which we are proposing makes more of the ground floor area
in the main building, with some larger public spaces, an increase
in meeting rooms and smaller consultation rooms which would be suitable
for individual conversations."
first and second floors offer 21 units of accommodation which are
self contained, and through being so ensure a variety of accommodation
options can be included. We have also been able to ensure that we
are able to provide a fully accessible flat for those with additional
needs on the ground floor."
more significant change is the sports hall and Multi Use Games Area
(MUGA) elements, now we have cleared the site, it became very clear
to us that the proposed siting of the MUGA is far too close to the
new residential units, and whilst a MUGA would be an asset we have
determined that in relation to our near neighbours it would be of
considerable discomfort due to the noise."
this end we have used the area originally proposed for the MUGA
to look to extend the multi-purpose sports hall element. From conversations
in the community, access to a space which can be multi-purpose -
i.e. used for a variety of activities during the day and evening
- is a real need. This provision allows for health and wellbeing
activities for the whole community each day."
we have said previously the delays to get to this point have been
frustrating, however in the context of a project which will be of
benefit to the community for many years, and with the aim of ensuring
the scheme is right, decisions which have taken time needed to be
recently the YMCA has been developing a model where its delivery
of community activities are free at the point of access to the whole
community, it is anticipated that once complete the Highbridge Hotel
will be a model where this style of provision can be further developed
to have a real long lasting impact on the wellbeing and futures
of a great community."