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Council supports plans to build two new flats in place of former Highbridge church


Town councillors have supported plans for two new flats to be built on the site of Highbridge’s former Gospel Tabernacle Church.

As we reported here in August, the site in Newtown Road has been earmarked for a modern two-storey development of two new flats.

The church was knocked down in 2016 after it fell into a state of disrepair, despite opposition from town councillors and community members, as reported here at the time.

Town councillors also raised concerns about a lack of future plans for the site at a planning committee meeting before the demolition work was carried out.

A new planning application was submitted last month by Burnham Waste Ltd for plans to construct two residential flats at the site. It includes off-street parking for up to four vehicles and a separate storage area.

At this month’s Burnham and Highbridge Town Council Planning Committee, members have voted in favour of supporting the planning application.

Cllr Barbara Vickers told the meeting: “I support this. They are two decent sized flats with secure storage for bicycles and adequate parking.”

Cllr Peter Clayton added: “I’m in support too – it will tidy up that area immensely.”

The applicant’s design and access statement says: “The building had not been used in over 10 years when permission was granted in 2016 to demolish after the building became unsafe.”

“Newtown Road is adjacent to Ladd Close and Tyler Way – both areas that have seen recent developments. The proposed property would property would provide two two-bedroom flats in line with the national housing standards, with off-street parking for four vehicles and including cycle storage at the rear of the property.”

“The appearance of the building to stay in keeping with the location and with the use of render and some brick. The access to the property would be from Newtown Road. However, two parking spaces would be accessed from King Street.”

The former church was originally built as a Seaman’s Mission before it became the Plymouth Brethren Gospel Hall. It closed in the early 1950s but reopened in 1973 and remained in use until the opening of the Gospel Tabernacle Evangelical Church in 1998.

Somerset Council, which will ultimately decide on the application, is inviting feedback on the application (ref 11/23/00064) until Tuesday 19th September, 2023.



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