Plans to build a brand new £300,000 million children’s centre in Burnham-On-Sea moved a step closer this week when the county council unveiled plans for the building to town councillors.
The building was originally proposed for the centre of Burnham, but is now being planned for a site bordering the Winchester Road playing fields, next to Burnham Infants School.
Julie Spencer from the county council told town councillors on Monday night (September 4th) that “Burnham-On-Sea had been selected through a shortlisting process based on statistical evidence and professional opinion, and the school site in particular was sited well.”
She added: “The facility would offer early education services, day care for pre-school children, family support for parents and a range of family health services.”
“It would also have close links with local schools and Jobcentre Plus, helping parents who wish to consider training and employment.”
If it gets the go-ahead from planners during the coming months, Somerset County Council Building Projects Implementation manager Simon Briggs told town councillors that construction could even start as early as March 2007.
He admitted that the location of the building, which is near to the Infants School, (pictured) could be a sticking point due to the potential impact on the playing fields but said “advanced discussions” had already been held with Sedgemoor’s Parks and Open Spaces Officer regarding this point.
“The building would sit on part of the existing school site and on an adjacent playing field,” he said.
“We’ve spent a lot of time looking at the best location. The building wouldn’t have a big impact on the playing fields and we would introduce enhancements to the play area.”
He added that money for the building would come from the government’s ‘Sure Start’ initiative, which aims to develop a children’s centre in hundreds of communities across the UK, with each one reaching up to 800 children in the ages 0-5.
Update: The figure of £3 million originally mentioned in this article referred to the total spend of children’s centres in the region and not specifically on the proposed building at Winchester Road.
Sure Start [External Site]