Highbridge field next to Lakeside which is earmarked for 110 new homes

Controversial plans to build 110 new homes on a field in Highbridge have moved a step closer with the submission of a new planning application that reveals the layout and appearance of the development.

Over 700 people signed a petition in 2020 against the sale of the public field between Lakeside and Isleport amid concerns about a loss of wildlife, a loss of public open land and over-development, but Sedgemoor’s Executive unanimously approved the sale.

With ‘outline planning permission’ granted in 2021, the developers have now unveiled a new ‘reserved matters application’ to define the site’s appearance and layout.

They plan to build 110 “sustainable family homes” with 35 two-bed and 75 three-bed homes that will be “competitively priced.”

Toni Hammick, Managing Director of Property Link, and Lydia Whitaker, Head of Planning at design agency BoKlok (which is a partnership between Skanska and IKEA), have given a presentation to the Town Council’s Planning Committee, as pictured here.

Lydia Whitaker told councillors that BoKlok’s proposed modular homes for the site would be constructed off-site in a dry factory environment as part of “a smart and industrialised process which enables high quality and predictable costs” along with reduced deliveries to the site.

She went on to explain that BoKlok aims to create a “safe and green neighbourhood” with  green open spaces and facilities to encourage community integration. Community space proposed may include  a “Grow Zone, providing community growing spaces; a Communal hub including play areas and open areas; and all houses will have private rear gardens.”

The plans also include removing the nearby railway crossing due to safety concerns and diverting the public right of way. Extra safety precautions will be taken along the rhyne.

Councillors asked about rhyne safety, accoustic screening, how ecology is being protected, the play equipment lifespan and the type of equipment.

Cllr James Warren also questioned why there was only one access route to the development via the existing Lakeside site onto the A38 Bristol Road, to which Toni Hammick said the proposals had been approved by Somerset County Highways.

Cllr Barbara Vickers asked about medical facilities for the residents at the site and whether the existing doctors surgery would be able to serve them. Toni Hammick said that a new deoctors surgery is due to be built in 2023 at nearby Brue Farm to provide extra capacity.

Highbridge field next to Lakeside which is earmarked for 110 new homes

Several nearby residents told Burnham-On-Sea.com this week that they remain unhappy at the proposals. Local campaigner Joy Russell spoke out against the sale of the land in 2020, citing the environmental impact it would have. “Nature has taken a back seat,” she told councillors, adding that it was “scandalous” that the “council is reneaguing on its promises of years ago” to keep the land as public open land.

The CGI images of the development that were shown during the meeting were described as being examples of how the development could look rather than the final designs.

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