Plan to turn Highbridge's final bank building into flats halted
final bank building won't be turned into flats after all - following
a decision by Sedgemoor District Council this week.
former Nat West bank building in Huntspill Road closed down in the
summer of 2014, as we reported
here, and has been vacant ever since.
application for a change of use of the property and the conversion
of the ground floor to four flats was considered by the Town Council
last month when it was given approval.
the final decision always sits with Sedgemoor District Council and,
this week, it decided to turn down the scheme.
spokesman explained that parking is a key concern behind its judgement.
proposal does not incorporate adequate turning facilities to enable
a vehicle to enter and leave the highway in forward gear. Adequate
provision cannot be made on the site for the parking of vehicles
in a satisfactory manner, which is essential to highway safety.
The proposal is therefore contrary to Policies D9 and D10 of the
Sedgemoor District Core Strategy and advice contained with the National
Planning Policy Framework and Planning Practice Guidance."
council also quotes flooding concerns, adding: "The application
site is located in Flood Zone 3, an area deemed by the Environment
Agency as being at a high risk of flooding and is at risk from both
fluvial and tidal sources according to the Environment Agency Flood
River Brue - a main river - runs behind the proposed development.
Notwithstanding the mitigation measures proposed, the risk to life
and/or property, from tidal inundation would be unacceptable as
the site would be within an area which is considered to be at risk
to possible deep tidal flooding should the defences be breached
could result in rapid inundation of the site with flood depths in
the region of 1 metre."
proposed flats will be located mainly at ground floor level only
and would lack a means of escape which means that any occupier does
not have a safe place to go in times of a flood."
a consequence the development increases the risk to life of any
potential occupants. The application is therefore contrary to the
National Planning Policy Framework and guidance within the Planning
Practice Guidance relating to Flood Risk and Coastal Change."
town councillor John Parkes said: "I have previously registered
my unhappiness about this scheme - there are parking issues there,
and many residents don't want to see more flats. Some residents
tell me it would be better used as a historic facility such as a
building was built as Stuckey's bank in 1877 and a blue heritage
trail sign in place on the building, pictured here, recalls its