Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge’s new Neighbourhood Plan has been formally adopted by Sedgemoor District Council at its latest meeting.

The decision comes after Sedgemoor’s Full Council resolved to adopt the Neighbourhood Plan.

Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge residents had voted in favour of adopting the Plan during a local referendum in September.

The referendum asked voters the question: “Do you want Sedgemoor District Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?”

The election result was: Yes: 2,658 and No: 358. There was a turnout of 17.62%.

Town councillor Phil Harvey, who chaired the group of residents that drew up the Plan over the last four years, said: “It is a satisfying result after all the years of work that everybody has put in.”

He added: “Now the Plan has been ratified by Sedgemoor District Council it becomes part of the local planning process and we will hopefully make some difference going forward.”

The newly-adopted Neighbourhood Plan will enable the two towns to better influence planning decisions in the area and have a greater say in how the area evolves. The Neighbourhood Plan covers three topics of Highbridge, Central Burnham and Housing:

Central Burnham polices include:

  • Extend the shopping area northwards.
  • Set design standards for new or altered shop fronts.
  • Set criteria for redevelopment proposals.
  • Set out policies for any redevelopment that may occur at Pople’s Yard, Pier Street car park or the Learning Centre and Town Square in Princess Street.
  • Protect Marine Cove, Manor Gardens, Crosses Pen and South Esplanade Lawns from inappropriate development.

Highbridge policies include:

  • Extend the designated shopping zone to include the southern end of Church Street.
  • Control redevelopment in the urban area.
  • Redevelop the land next to the railway line behind the Co-op to include employment.
  • Ensure the local community benefits from the new Isleport Business Park.
  • Protect Apex Park, Burnham Road playing fields and Southwell Gardens from inappropriate development.
  • Encourage new residential development to include toddlers’ play areas.

Housing policies include:

  • Set criteria for the design of the street scene and for designing out crime.
  • Make residential development safe from flood risk.
  • Give preference to pedestrians and cyclists over cars in new developments.
  • Encourage sustainable transport and provision for electric car charging points.
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