Plans to convert a former bank building in Burnham-On-Sea town centre into four new flats have been partially rejected by town councillors this week.
At a meeting of the Town Council’s Planning Applications Committee on Wednesday (April 10th), councillors expressed concern at the proposed redevelopment of the former HSBC bank in College Street.
The HSBC bank in Burnham’s College Street closed in 2017 and is set to be converted into four self-contained flats under proposals submitted by GCGP Properties Limited.
Cllr Nick Tolley said: “We have four empty banks in our town and my concern here is that if this goes through then we could well see similar plans for the Nat West and Barclays buildings too.”
“It concerns my that the plans include a ground floor bedroom at street level in a commercial area of the town – this is not the right location for this. I am against this completely.”
Cllr Peter Clayton agreed: “I would like it to remain a commercial property.”
But Cllr Louise Parkin added: “Creating a flat at ground floor level is wrong in this location, but I have no objection to flats on the first and second floors. The ground floor definitely has scope for commercial use.”
Cllr Andy Brewer reminded fellow councillors: “Our Neighbourhood Plan states that commercial premises should be retained wherever possible. That’s applicable here in the town centre.”
Cllr Martin Cox added: “The building’s owners can’t have fully explored letting it out yet for commercial use – I’d like to see more done to keep the ground floor as retail.”
After considering the plans, councillors agreed to object against the plans for a ground floor flat but supported the plans for first and second floor flats. The final decision rests with Sedgemoor District Council.