August 18, 2015
Plea for more funding for ‘forgotten’ Highbridge by trade group boss

An impassioned plea for more funding for Highbridge town centre has been made by the leader of its Chamber of Trade this week.

Mike Murphy told councillors at a meeting last night (Monday) that Highbridge is being “forgotten” and “treated as the poor relation” by the Town Council.

He went on to claim that all the council’s focus has been on improving Burnham in recent months and implementing its Tesco-funded town centre upgrades while Highbridge has been “overlooked.”

And he appealed to councillors for seed funding to allow the creation of a town centre revival team in Highbridge and to take forward its regeneration.

Cllr Martin Cox said: “We shouldn’t forget that we are a Burnham and Highbridge Town Council and we need to treat both towns fairly. The Tesco project has overshadowed Highbridge recently.”

Town Council Clerk said: “It should be remembered that a ‘106 agreement’ is in place from the Brue Farm housing development, so many thousands of pounds of funding will come into the town when building gets started.”

Brue Farm developer Hallam Land Management won outline planning permission in March 2012 to build 550 homes and a primary school on the southern side of Highbridge. However, that was subject to the signing of a legal agreement with Sedgemoor District Council over Hallam’s community contributions.

That legal document, called a section 106 agreement, includes contributing to a 210-place primary school, plus £1million towards off-site affordable housing and contributions to play/community facilities in the town itself.

Cllr Paul Young added: “We should try to help Highbridge more, but it does already have the best wildlife park in the whole area and the vibrant Isleport Business Park with many jobs.”

Pictured: Market Street in Highbridge is one of the areas in the town that needs more funding, according to Mike Murphy, pictured above. Watch the debate below