Published:
December 31, 2017
The highs and lows during 2017 in Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge

Burnham-On-Sea.com looks back at a busy year of news and events in Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge.

There have been many memorable highs and lows for our area during 2017 - from new multi-million pound commercial developments, awards and popular events to several shocking deaths.

Here, Burnham-On-Sea.com reviews several of the year's leading stories, in no particular order, as we look back at 2017.

Thank you for reading Burnham-On-Sea.com this year - we look forward to bringing you a busy year of local news coverage during 2018.

Aldi's plans for a new 1,804 square metre supermarket in Highbridge, at the northern end of the Isleport Industrial Park, were given a 'green light' by Sedgemoor District Council in May, as reported here. Work on building the new store is due to begin during 2018.

The long-awaited opening of a new cycle path between Weston and Brean went ahead during July, as we reported here. The Brean Down Way stretches for eight miles from Weston Pier to Brean Down Fort and provides walkers and cyclists with a route over the River Axe for the first time via the Brean Cross Sluice. There are also plans to extend the path through to Burnham-On-Sea, as we reported here.

In a blow to the town, Nat West shut its branch in Burnham-On-Sea in October as part of a nationwide cost-cutting move by big banks, as reported here. It followed HSBC shutting its branch in Burnham-On-Sea in January when the firm blamed a sharp 28 per cent reduction in customers due to rising online transactions. Both properties remain vacant.

Two murders shocked local residents during 2017. Burnham-On-Sea Police charged a 42-year-old man with the murder of 36-year-old Burnham woman Lisa Marie Thornton in November, following a death at a property in Berrow Road, as we reported here.

In a separate, unrelated incident, two men were charged with the murder of Joseph Pearce, 40, at a property in Burnham-On-Sea's Churchill Close, during July, as we reported here.

In May, Berrow received national recognition when nationwide campaign group Keep Britain Tidy awarded its beach a coveted 'Seaside Award', ranking it among the top beaches around the whole country, as we reported here.

Burnham-On-Sea was named as one of the UK's top property price growth hotspots of 2017 after house prices were reported to have leapt by nearly 10 per cent. The town is in fourth place on a list of UK towns and cities that have seen the biggest increases in prices during the past year, as we reported here.

Plans for a new 75-bed Travelodge hotel in Highbridge's Bennett Road were given the final go-ahead by Sedgemoor District Councillors in October, as we reported here. Travelodge says it will bring financial benefit to the area by creating jobs and attracting extra visitors. Work will start on it during 2018.

Four residents from Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge were awarded Civic Awards in October in recognition of their service to our local community. Pat Burge, John Strickland, and Colin and Eileen Rufus, were honoured during the annual Civic Service in Highbridge, as we reported here. Look for new 'young persons civic awards' to be introduced during 2018.

Tens of thousands of people lined the streets of Burnham-On-Sea in November to watch dozens of illuminated floats and entertainers take part in the 71st Highbridge and Burnham Carnival. Over 80 entries paraded through the town in a cavalcade of colour and excitement, as we reported here. Burnham's Hillview Carnival Club did superbly once again with a second place in the County Cup.

Burnham-On-Sea was short-listed for the prestigious award of the UK's 'Coach Friendly Destination of the Year' in the annual National Coach Tourism Awards. It comes amid an ongoing project, led by Burnham-On-Sea Chamber Of Trade, to encourage visitors into the town centre, as we reported here.

Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge Town Council backed the launch of a new 'green' initiative to reduce the use of single-use plastics - such as cutlery, straws and cups in the town - in order to reduce beach pollution and help marine life, as we reported here. It comes as a continuing push is underway to improve Burnham-On-Sea's sea water quality.

Crowds of people headed to Burnham-On-Sea's two Food Festivals, which were recognised with several awards during 2017, as we reported here.

 


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