Long-awaited work to renovate the fire-hit former Highbridge Hotel looks set to begin shortly following a meeting between its owner and regeneration bosses.

Property developer Derek Mead (pictured right) met with Sedgemoor District Council’s Corporate Director Doug Bamsey and members of the regeneration partnership last week where he said his successful insurance claim now makes the renovation work possible.

Mr Bamsey told a town council meeting on Monday evening (November 3rd) that a “very positive” meeting had been held with Mr Mead. “Our officers had a close look at the building and Mr Mead told us that now his insurance claim has been completed, building work can begin soon.”

“Quotes are already being obtained for scaffolding and a temporary roof to allow the work to start within days or a few weeks,” added Mr Bamsey. “We hope the work will started as soon as possible.”

The property was left in an unstable condition following a huge fire in April (pictured below) and has been boarded up ever since.

Town clerk Eileen Shaw said councillors and nearby residents are concerned about the “unsightly” state of the building, which has been blighted by “fly posting and large amounts of rubbish.” Cllr Chris Williams added: “The whole site badly needs clearing up.”

Mr Bamsey said he would take up the concerns with Mr Mead to see whether a quick solution could be found to improve the appearance.

County Councillor Rosemary Parsons, who is Chairman of the Regeneration Partnership, said: “It was a very postive meeting and it’s emerged that there are many parties interested in the site.”

Mr Mead told Burnham-On-Sea.com in September that he wants to restore the listed building to its former glory.