Sedgemoor District Council has this week reassured Highbridge residents that the potential sale of a public field to make room for a huge proposed new housing development will be ‘subject to a full public consultation exercise’.
The council spoke out amid ongoing concern surrounding emerging plans for 130 new homes to be built on an area of land next to the current Lakeside housing development in Highbridge.
Talking to Burnham-On-Sea.com, council spokeswoman Claire Faun said: “Sedgemoor District Council is aware of emerging proposals for new housing on the field adjacent to the Lakeside development at Highbridge. These are being progressed by a local developer and a public consultation event took place in Highbridge on June 18th.”
“Part of the land in the proposal is owned by Sedgemoor District Council, with the remainder of the land is privately owned by a few individuals.”
“Although the field is not formal open space it is still currently protected from development through planning policy. However, given the need to significantly increase the supply of new housing, a national priority, the Council’s new Local Plan anticipates that some new housing will be delivered on this site during the next five years but it will be essential to include a substantial area of high quality open space within any scheme.”
“SDC, as partial landowner, has agreed to allow the developer to explore the possibility of development on its land. Any sale of SDC owned land would be subject to a public consultation exercise. Any decision to sell would have to gain the Executive Committee’s approval.”
“As of Tuesday, no planning application has been received by Sedgemoor District Council. Should a planning application be submitted it will be considered by the council’s Development Committee in due course.”
A further consultation evening is planned by the applicant. It will take place on July 5th from 7pm-8.30pm at the Town Council Chambers in Jaycroft Road, Burnham-On-Sea (TA8 1LE).
As first reported by Burnham-On-Sea.com here, Toni Hammick plans to transform the publicly-owned field into a new development of homes on land between Lakeside and the Isleport Business Park.
Denzil Clarke, pictured above, is leading a group of residents called the ‘Lakeside Residents Public Open Space Committee’ to air their opinions and “ensure their views are properly considered.” Over 30 residents are in the group.
Residents flocked to a recent consultation event at Highbridge Community Centre where the applicant received a barrage of concerns about the scheme.
Toni Hammick, pictured below right, who was present at the recent consultation event, admitted to Burnham-On-Sea.com that the plans are “certainly controversial.”
She added: “When you have been living next to a field for a long time of course there will be lots of concerns when proposals like this come along.”
“The main concerns have been around access, but we have looked into this and there are no other access routes onto the site available and highways have already said they are happy with it.”
She added that some locals had “welcomed” the news that funding from the Asda and Aldi developments would enable a “fitness trail and quality play space” to be created at the site. “There would be less public open space than at the moment, but an area would be maintained.”