regeneration plans move forward at latest meetings
to regenerate Burnham-On-Sea edged a step further forward this
week after two high-profile meetings were held in the town between
councillors, regeneration bosses and local businesses.
the consultants looking into the economic benefits of regeneration
in Burnham, presented their findings on retail and tourism at
a meeting in the Princess Hall, pictured right.
second meeting was held in the Community Centre when the town's
Regeneration Company discussed plans for a new Civic Quarter,
as recently unveiled here.
May from EKOS delivered a set of preliminary findings about the
state of trade and tourism in Burnham in front of a dozen people.
These covered issues such as parking, the state of the High Street,
the reasons why some businesses have been failing in the town,
gaps in the retail market and statistics on who visits the area.
Mr May received a cool reception after admitting he had not yet
visited the town's high street.
Murphy, chairman of Burnham's Regeneration Company, said: "You
need to give your findings validity by getting your people to
visit the town. You can't just give us figures and data without
actually speaking to retailers."
And the committee was also unhappy about the currency of some
of the figures presented by EKOS, which in several cases were
not up-to-date, it was claimed.
Edwards, chairman of the Chamber of Trade, said: "I'm concerned
that you're giving us a presentation that's fraught with holes."
Sarah Welsh of EKOS said: "These findings are just early
proposals, not a final report. This is all part of a lengthy process
- we are getting input on the state of tourism and retail, will
be talking to people on the ground next, and will then take our
findings and project plans to yourselves, the council and specialists."
some of the regeneration ideas raised at the event were covering
the High Street with a galleria-style walk-way, reducing business
rates to encourage more shops to come to Burnham, creating a Victorian
Centre, building a mini 'Eden Project' to bring more tourists
into the town, and developing a huge, eye-catching water fountain
on Stert Island as a visitor attraction! EKOS
will present its findings in early to mid 2006.
second, seperate, meeting was held to discuss the outline plans
for a new Civic Quarter in Burnham, as pictured right.
proposals were generally given the thumbs-up by the 22 people
present, although there was discussion about the need for ample
car parking spaces; who would manage the site; the security of
paths in the development; the flow of cars through the town after
the development has been completed; the need for more budget accommodation
in the town; the possibility of linking nearby buildings to the
Pym, Property Review Manager at Somerset County Council, told
the meeting: "We fully support the development, which is
no different in many ways to the other proposed sites around the
outline application is scheduled to go before district councillors
for Burnham-On-Sea Civic Quarter unveiled