Highbridge Travelodge plans given go-ahead by council
for a new 75-bed Travelodge hotel in Highbridge have been given
the final go-ahead by Sedgemoor District Councillors today (Tuesday).
council's Development Committee met today in Bridgwater where they
decided to give approval to the controversial Highbridge hotel on
the Isleport Business Park.
Alan Williams, on behalf of the agent, spoke at this morning's
meeting about why the new hotel should be approved.
He outlined Travelodge's view that it will bring financial benefit
to the area by creating jobs and attracting extra visitors.
council's planning officer Dawn de Vries recommended that the hotel
be approved - and the committee members agreed, voting in favour
of giving it consent.
proposal would bring investment and jobs to the area as well as
enhancing the image of the area as a business and tourist location,"
Burnham-On-Sea.com first reported here,
Travelodge is to build a four-storey hotel with 75 bedrooms, 75
parking spaces, and a cafe/bar on vacant land to the east of Bennett
Road on the Isleport Business Park.
plans have attracted a wide range of opinions. Nine letters of support
were sent to the district council, saying the hotel would:
Add diversity to the choice of local hotels
Provide local jobs that people can walk to
Attract new tourists and customers
Be well positioned away from residents
Boost existing tourism businesses
Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge Town Council felt the hotel
contravenes Sedgemoor District Council's own vision for the business
park as it would not generate highly skilled jobs, would add to
road congestion in the area, and does not include any renewable
energy plans. Councillors also want a retail impact statement to
understand the impact on Burnham and Highbridge town centres.
planning officer Dawn de Vries says: "The site is next
to Isleport Business Park and the proposed 75 room hotel would be
close to the Aldi store recently consented by the Council. The proposal
would bring investment and jobs to the area as well as enhancing
the image of the area as a business and tourist location which is
considered to complement the existing offer on site."
site forms part of a wider development site which has recently been
consented for large employment premises and starter units providing
the more traditional employment opportunities."
proposal would provide investment into the wider area and would
provide a catalyst for direct and indirect investment. It is therefore
considered the proposal will have a positive impact in terms of
delivery of the remaining phases of the business park and enhance
it as a commercially attractive location to encourage further investment.
It is considered that the development would result in a beneficial
employment generating use and a form of accommodation not currently
represented in Highbridge or Burnham-On-Sea."
the scheme was debated earlier in the year, Cllr John Parkes
said: "A 75-bed hotel will create jobs, but they will be
16 part time roles and just six full time roles. Also, I'm at a
loss to understand how a Travelodge, an Aldi and a food outlet will
support our service centres. I think it will have a negative effect
on Burnham, and a major impact on Highbridge."
Nick Tolley added: "The building looks like a prison block
from the drawings, but I note that we don't have many places to
stay locally for large groups of people - many currently stay at
the hotel at the Hobbs Boat at Lympsham, far away from Burnham and
Martin Cox added: "While I have a lot of sympathy with
the concerns, competition is not grounds to stop this. Travelodges
are always based on the outskirts of towns, as planned here, so
maybe they should be contributing funding to our town centres."
Louise Parkin said it resembles "Cell Block H" while
Cllr Andy Brewer remarked that it is "aesthetically unpleasing"
and not in keeping with other commercial buildings. Cllr Cox
added it has "no architectural merit" and said a different
location for the hotel should be found that is not detrimental to
the two town centres.
it has been approved, the Travelodge will be located next to Highbridge's
planned new Aldi superstore. The new store, pictured in the plans
above, was approved by Sedgemoor District Council back in May.