Controversial plans for eight new homes in Burnham-On-Sea were given the final go-ahead by district councillors on Tuesday (January 12th).
88 people signed a petition objecting against the plans amid concern about a likely rise in noise, increased traffic, the height of the properties compared to surrounding homes, a greater risk of flooding, and a loss of visual amenity.
The planning application is for a new development of eight homes on land at 150 Berrow Road on the site of an existing outbuilding, which is to be demolished. The application was initially submitted in 2017 and was approved in 2018.
Now, though, a ‘Reserved Matters’ planning application has been submitted to Sedgemoor District Council to cover the design elements of the development – appearance, landscaping, layout and scale – plus 26 parking spaces.
Members of Burnham and Highbridge Town Council’s planning applications committee last month decided to object against the proposals.
The plans were approved during Sedgemoor District Council’s Development Control Committee meeting on Tuesday, which was held online.
Catherine Richardson, who lives on Berrow Road, spoke at the meeting on behalf of residents, raising their concerns about the development. She said the proposed homes would be “over bearing and not complement the area” in addition to other concerns about flooding, noise, a loss of light and the impact on wildlife.
But Peter Tyzack, representing the developer Hawkfield Homes, told the meeting that the developer had listened to local feedback and “made changes to the design and layout” of the plans since they were first submitted to address the concerns.
Peter added: “The only outstanding point is that some neighbours don’t like the design.” He urged councillors to give the plans consent.
Cllr Stuart Kingham told the meeting that “while the modern design does not suit everyone, it is fashionable” and he said it is “a nice, modern development.”
But Cllr Li Gibson spoke out against the plans for having “no green credentials apart from a few car charging ports.”
And Cllr Mike Murphy also spoke out against the plans, saying he has “full sympathy” for the concerns of those living around the development.
Cllr Mike Facey gave his support to the scheme, saying “I think they have done a good job and I support the plans with extra planning conditions.”
Cllr Tony Grimes added: “There are many other developments like this already in Burnham – I am happy to support them.”
In a vote, 11 district councillors supported the plans, while two were against and two did not vote.
In December, Town councillors had voted to maintain the council’s previous objections to this application, mainly focused around “the style and character of the proposed homes being out of keeping with surrounding properties and the height and elevations being significantly above adjacent properties.”
Burnham and Highbridge Town Council previously said: “Members recognised that a number of changes had been made to the application that the committee had previously highlighted as concerns – for example, moving plots away from adjacent properties.”
“A significant number of residents had written to the Town Council with objections to this development and the meeting felt that these residents should be given the opportunity to take their concerns to the Planning Authority at Development Control Committee.”