A decision on the future of Burnham-On-Sea’s BMX bike park has been deferred to allow more public consultation.
The council discussed the proposals during a meeting of the Executive on Wednesday (April 1st) during a ‘confidential’ session behind closed doors.
The public have been reassured that there are no proposals to build housing on the site, at Apex Park, but to refurbish and extend the existing ranger building with upgraded public toilets, an extended meeting room and a new café facility.
The proposals also involving granting Bourne Leisure a 50-year ground lease on the existing site, subject to terms being agreed.
Sedgemoor District Council spokeswoman Claire Faun told Burnham-On-Sea.com after Wednesday’s meeting: “Sedgemoor District Council, as the land-owners of Apex Park, has been approached by Bourne Leisure, the owners of the Burnham Holiday Village and the trustees of the Burnham BMX Club about the possibility of the Council entering into a three-way agreement which would see the BMX Club re-located onto a site more conducive to holding regional and national events.”
“Discussions have been along the lines of in exchange for granting Bourne Leisure a 50-year lease of the existing BMX Site, Bourne would fund the re-location of the club whilst also funding the refurbishment and extension to the existing Apex Ranger Building which would include ungraded public conveniences, extended meeting room and all year round café facility.”
“These proposals have been discussed on a number of occasions at public meetings of the Friends of Apex Park and have been in the public domain for some while. They do not and never have been, about building housing on Apex Park.”
“However, both Bourne Leisure and the Trustees of the Burnham BMX Club wanted the Council’s approval to the principle of taking this proposal forward subject to obtaining planning and any other consents that may be required. In essence, ‘running the idea’ passed the elected members.”
“However, at the Executive meeting today, where the item was due to be discussed in exempt business because of personal information and commercial confidentiality contained within the report, the members agreed to defer the item so that the proposals could be considered by the wider community.”
“This was carried out for several reasons – firstly, to make members of the public aware of the proposal to relocate the Burnham BMX Club; secondly to refurbish and extend the APEX park ranger building (to include upgraded public conveniences, extended meeting room and café facility) and; thirdly, to grant Bourne Leisure a 50-year ground lease on the existing BMX site at APEX park subject to terms being agreed.”
“The proposals also would enable the proposed disposal of the BMX site by way of lease to be advertised. The Council has a statutory duty to advertise the disposal of public open space pursuant to Section 123(2A) of the Local Government Act 1972. The public will have the ability to make representations in response to that advert. The Executive will have regard to those representations before making a final decision in relation to this site.”
“The deferrral will enable a further report to be presented to the Executive on 3rd June 2015. The report will be considered publicly in whole or in part, so that the public have the opportunity to comment upon and speak to the proposals if they so wish.”
The public have been reassured that there is no proposal to build housing on this site.
The deferral will also enable further negotiations with Bourne Leisure and the Trustees of the Burnham BMX Club and further consultation with the Friends of Apex Park.
“Clearly, if a planning application is forthcoming, there will be further public consultation as part of the planning process and as in all cases like this SDC actively encourage the applicants to undertake public consultation events,” added Mrs Faun.