Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge town councillors last night raised concerns about road safety next to a development of 167 proposed new homes in Highbridge, saying a new A38 roundabout must be built to avoid ‘traffic chaos’.
At a meeting of the council’s Planning Committee on Wednesday (September 15th), councillors supported the revised plans from Bloor Homes to reduce the number of new homes from 171 to 167 at Brue Farm in Huntspill Road.
The new development, which includes a new 200-pupil school, was approved in 2019, as Burnham-On-Sea.com reported here as part of the wider Brue Farm development of over 400 new homes. It is separate to the Brue Farm building work that is already underway.
Now, a ‘Section 73’ application has now been submitted with landscaping changes, the removal of four homes, and the move of the proposed roundabout south.
While town councillors say they support the new homes, they are worried about the extra traffic that will be generated. They are calling for the new roundabout to be built first.
Cllr Bill Hancock says: “My biggest concern with this development is the extra traffic movements while the new homes are being built. The new roundabout must be built first or it will be a recipe for disaster, adding extra traffic onto an already busy road. It will be chaos.”
Cllr Louise Parkin added: “I 100 per cent agree with Cllr Hancock on this – you just have to look at the difficulty getting out of Buncombes Garage at peak times or when the M5 is closed to see it will be a nightmare. We need the roundabout first.”
Cllr Sue Harvey agreed: “The new roundabout must go in early – the local area can’t cope with more housing without it. There would be serious traffic problems.”
Cllr Julie Flurry added: “This is one of the largest developments in our area — it’s so important to have the roundabout in place. It would be dangerous without it.”
Cllr Nick Tolley agreed: “I have read through the 19 letters of objection from the public and 85% of them are concerned about traffic flows. We would see gridlock on same days without the roundabout.”
Cllr Andy Brewer also raised concerns about a reduction in new trees at the site on the amended plans, adding that he would not want to see the tree planting scheme scaled back at the new housing site.
Councillors unanimously agreed to support the revised ‘Section 73’ planning application for 167 homes, but they raised concerns about the reduction in the tree planting scheme and the importance of the roundabout being built “at the earliest opportunity in the interests of minimising traffic disruption.”
A final decision on the application rests with Sedgemoor District Council.