Over 170 residents in Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge have aired their views on controversial plans for the future of Burnham-On-Sea’s BMX bike park, it emerged this week as new details about the proposals were revealed.
Town councillors received an update from Sedgemoor District Council’s Tim Mander this week, regarding the proposal to grant Bourne Leisure a 50-year ground lease for the existing BMX site at Apex Park.
Mr Mander said: “The idea came to us from Burnham BMX Club with the concept of re-locating the BMX club on the basis that this would be funded by Bourne Leisure on the understanding that they would be granted a 50-year lease to be able to develop the existing site. This meets the requirements of the RLT1 policy of the core strategy for the local plan.”
Cllr Cox asked about the Apex Park car park which he said “is fully stretched and must be fully considered in any future plans.” Mr Mander said it would be a consideration.
Cllr Louise Parkin asked whether the council has an idea of the cost for any future reclamation of the site “to bring it back to nature,” adding “I have heard a figure of £250,000 banded about.”
Mr Mander said he had not heard that figure, and revealed: “I would say there isn’t a reinstatement clause within these terms so if the BMX club move off and buy their own site then clearly the funds will have to be found to reinstate it.. but it certainly would not be a costly excercise.”
Cllr Phil Harvey said “it is beyond belief that a council would allow a contract to go out without a reinstatement clause – I’m amazed.”
Cllr Parkes referred to a note on the consultation he’d seen from a ‘senior ex-councillor’ regarding the plans. “He answered it online and blasted it for leaving so many leading questions that it can only lead you to support Sedgemoor’s position. I’m afraid at this point I have lost much faith in the process.”
Cllr Parkes added: “An awful lot of poeple in Highbridge and Burnham are absolutely fuming with the process – particularly when we speak about the Apex Park, the jewel in our crown.”
Mr Mander said officers in the council’s community development team had worked up the survey to be as open as possible.
The proposals will next be considered on 18th November by Sedgemoor Executive.