Controversial plans for 46 new homes in Highbridge have this week been approved by the Planning Inspectorate despite opposition from residents and town councillors.
Developer Flower & Hayes is seeking permission to build 46 homes on land to the north of Walrow Road in Highbridge, but the plans have been met with objections from many local residents and the Town Council.
The land owner appealed to the Planning Inspectorate, which has this week given its verdict and approved the plans.
Joy Russell, who canpaigned against the plans, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “We have lost our fight to save the field at Walrow from development.”
“It’s a heart-breaking farewell to the wildlife and nature that has thrived here, once more being pushed out with the stroke of a pen.”
“So much for the government supporting the recovery of nature. I am beyond sad!”
“Our community is angry that SDC and the appeal officer believe that this development is a safe location regarding both access, highways and flooding issues and we feel, once again, that the opinions and concerns of the locals have been totally ignored.”
Flower & Hayes submitted similar plans last year, which were rejected in March 2019 when Sedgemoor councillors ruled that the proposals were an ‘inappropriate development’ that would ‘be out of keeping’. The plans have since been updated by the applicant to address the concerns.
During an online meeting held on Tuesday (June 2nd), Sedgemoor District Council’s development committee gave the plans their support despite the opposition, although the final say on whether the scheme goes ahead lay with the Planning Inspectorate.
Town council deputy clerk Lorna Williams said at the meeting earlier this year that Burnham and Highbridge Town Council has previously raised concerns over access, over-development, noise from the railway line, flood mitigation, and the impact on wildlife.
Cllr Janet Keen also raised concerns about flooding at the site and fears about the railway bridge’s weight limits being ignored. Cllr Mike Murphy also said traffic and flooding are concerns for him.